On Tuesday, May 28, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced that it is creating a new support program that is meant to act as a self-help tool for problem gamblers in the state. Referred to as the iGaming Self Exclusion Program, the new initiative will allow people to exclude themselves from placing sports bets on the state’s recently launched mobile betting services.
Sounds familiar? Well, the program borrows quite a lot from the very successful Self-Exclusion Program that enabled thousands of people in the state to voluntarily exclude themselves from placing bets at the land-based casinos. Just like the Self-Exclusion Program, people will be allowed to voluntarily choose 1-year, 5-year or even lifetime bans for all online gambling activities – after that, they will not be allowed to overturn their decision until the self-exclusion agreement expires. It is worth noting that both programs are completely independent of each other which means that the individuals who are self-excluding themselves will have to register for both separately if they want to be fully covered.
To register on the lists, the individuals will need to have the following documents:
- Name, including any aliases or nicknames.
- Date of Birth.
- Address of current residence.
- Telephone number.
- Social Security number, when voluntarily provided in accordance with section 7 of the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a).
- Physical description, including height, weight, gender, hair color, eye color and any other physical characteristic that may assist in identification.
- Government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport.
What This Means for Operators
As it stands, a number of concerns have been raised over the presence of casino or gambling operations in the Keystone State – in fact, a decent number of communities have been protesting the introduction of some gaming properties. While representatives from both the gaming control board and the casino operators have met with members of the community in order to reassure them of the potential benefits of the gambling expansion bids and the safety policies being put in place, it goes without saying that some of the communities’ concerns are actually valid.
Therefore, with the introduction of the self-exclusion schemes, the state’s gaming control board is taking into account the concerns and preferences of the locals who have been imploring the authorities not “gamble with their futures.”
Going forward, all online sportsbooks will be banned from accepting bets from any individual who has self-excluded. In addition to losing their gaming privileges, the gamblers on the list will also not be allowed to access any complimentary goods and services, and player club membership. Moreover, the online sports betting or online casinos are also prohibited from sending any form of promotional material to the people on the self-exclusion lists.