March 14th, 2013


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Milestone Reached In Gaming Control Board's Efforts To Assist Problem Gamblers

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced that it recently received its 5,000th individual request to voluntarily be excluded from entering and participating in gaming activities at all Commonwealth casinos under the Board's Self-Exclusion Program. 

Begun in 2006, the Self-Exclusion Program permits an individual to request that he or she be banned from entering and gambling at a Pennsylvania casino for one year, five years or a lifetime. While a person is on the Self-Exclusion List, gaming facilities in the Commonwealth must refuse wagers from and deny any gaming privileges to that person, and deny check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation and other similar privileges and benefits.

In addition, the self-excluded individual is informed at the time when they agree to be placed on the list that they could be charged with criminal trespass if they enter a Pennsylvania casino. 

"The Self-Exclusion Program is an effective and proven tool to assist a problem gambler in removing himself or herself from the temptation of gambling," said Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling (OCPG). "The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem to seek help and consider taking advantage of the voluntary Self-Exclusion Program."

Lanza said that OCPG also utilizes the Self-Exclusion Program as a gateway to treatment for those who sign up prior to seeking treatment. When an individual signs up for self-exclusion, he/she is offered information on gambling addiction. The information includes the contact information for problem gambling treatment providers, Gamblers Anonymous and GAM-ANON schedules and self-help tools to help the individual on his/her road to recovery. 

Additional data from Pennsylvania's program, which is based upon responses from individuals during the self-exclusion intake interview, shows that:

  • 24% of the 5,000 individuals in Pennsylvania have chosen the lifetime ban
  • there are 2,837 males and 2,163 females on the Self-Exclusion List
  • individuals on this list range between 21 and 89 years of age
  • approximately 33% of the self-excluded individuals are currently involved in a treatment program (including Gamblers Anonymous) or have sought treatment in the past 
  • nearly 10% have been self-excluded in other jurisdictions such as New Jersey and Delaware
  • 91% of the 5,000 self-excluded persons participated in gambling in a PA casino prior to signing up for the Board's Self-Exclusion Program

Lanza added that individuals on the Self-Exclusion list not only engaged in slot machines gambling, but other types of gambling activities such as table games, poker games, keno, horse racing, lottery, internet gambling and sports betting.

An individual who wishes to be placed on the Self-Exclusion List can obtain the application and instructions by visiting the Gaming Control Board web site,, and choosing the Compulsive and Problem Gambling link located in the quick links section. 

The individual should then contact the OCPG at (717) 214-7370 to schedule an intake interview. During the interview, the individual must acknowledge personal responsibility to refrain from gambling. They will be given materials and information regarding available assistance and treatment options. 

Additional information and links for self-help tools, self-exclusion and compulsive and problem gambling are also available on the Board's website. 

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was established in 2004 with the passage of Act 71, also known as the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act. Pennsylvania's first new state agency in nearly 30 years, the Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state's casino industry. The 11 casinos in operation all offer both slot machine and table game gambling, employ over 16,000 people, and collectively generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue. A portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvania homeowners; provide funds to the Commonwealth's horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state's General Fund; and, established a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos for community projects. 

A wealth of information about the Gaming Control Board's regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania's gaming industry can be found at At this website, visitors can watch Board meetings live or view videos of past meetings, look up future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, obtain information on identifying a gambling problem and gaining assistance, access an interactive map of casino locations, request a speaker for their group, along with much more information. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

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