Pennsylvania’s Self-Exclusion Gambling Program Reaches 20K Entries

Part of this effort has been the establishment of an accessible self-exclusion program that allows residents who struggle with controlling their gambling habits to filter gambling content and websites online and restrict their access to land-based properties.

More Than a Decade of Being There for Players

During a meeting of the state’s regulator, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, this Wednesday, the watchdog announced that it has now entered the 20,000th voluntary request for enrollment in the Casino Self-Exclusion Program. This comes at a time when places such as Washington D.C. have decided to all but nix funding for problem gambling.

PGCB director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling Elizabeth Lanza hailed the milestone and said that it demonstrated the program’s success. She explained that such programs made it possible for players to regain control over their lives and that ultimately, a self-exclusion list was an effective tool in addressing the problem. Lanza added:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem to seek treatment and consider taking advantage of the voluntary Self-Exclusion Programs.

PGCB’s Elizabeth Lanza

The self-exclusion program has been around for a long time now, launching in 2006 originally, but mostly being slow going over the years. It was significantly expanded in 2019 when Pennsylvania adopted legislation allowing the arrival of online gambling, with the program also covering fantasy sports and video gaming terminals to offer more comprehensive and robust protection. Such expansions have been tied to higher rates of problem gambling.

The program puts the onus on establishments to refuse to accept bets from people who have registered with the program. Furthermore, self-excluded individuals may face criminal trespass charges if they try to access gambling products on the premises of a licensed venue in the Keystone State.

Celebrating Success and Improving Existing Tools

ufa800 In terms of who enrols in the program, the PGCB provided a detailed breakdown of this information as well, arguing that there were 12,811 men enrolled, along with 7,189 women. Men still seem to be more likely to fall into bad habits with gambling, but the number of women who suffer from similar issues has been steadily growing, indicating that more needs to be done to help protect that particular cohort.

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The program also saw 1,026 entries of people who quit the program but returned later on. Effective as these tools can be, addressing problem gambling requires a more comprehensive approach that includes treatment and awareness.