For some players out there, gambling might have become an unhealthy addiction which you need to break away from. It's sad, but unfortunately it's very much a reality which is why you see a lot of “Stop gambling When It Stops Being Fun” posters and so many age restrictions to those under the age of 18. It can destroy people's lives but thankfully there are plenty of ways one can help prevent or stop gambling addiction (also known as problem gambling) and one of those is self-exclusion. This technique has helped many problem players overcome their addictive behaviour and it has a high rate of success. However, this is only if you stick with it. Here's our guide on how to self-exclude from all gambling sites.
What Is Self-Exclusion?
In short, self-exclusion is a process and form of therapy where a problem player asks a gambling operator to be banned from their site or premises for a certain length of time. It can take anywhere between six months or five years, depending on the severity of addiction. By law, all gambling operators in the UK (whether online or on the high street) need to provide this as an option for all players. However, it is not their responsibility to make sure problem players stick with it as that is entirely up to you.
The operator will do everything they can to help, though, so they will have a part to play regardless. This means that they will refuse you service or even ask you to leave the shop. If you think you could benefit from this, then you should consider it as excluding yourself from places in which you are tempted to gamble could well help you on way to recovery.
Can I Self Exclude From All Gambling Sites?
Some of you may be questioning on the veracity of this technique. Why do players self-exclude? Or, more accurately, how can a problem player self-exclude when they are too addicted to it in the first place? This is a very nuanced question that requires a nuanced answer. A player must first of all recognise the signs for addiction in the first place and take steps to ensure they do not fall further victim to it.
In either case, ever since you've started gambling, you've probably noticed that you have favourite sites or venues which you like to frequently visit. This could be for many reasons and some of those reasons might include:
- Locality – If you're favourite betting shop's just down the road, you're going to prefer to others because of just how close it is.
- Friendly Staff/Customer Support – On either a website or in the venue itself, you might feel a bit more welcome if the people are friendly.
- Good Environment – A welcoming and clean environment is a good example of a good gambling operator.
- Past Winnings – You might have won big at a certain venue before and this makes you biased in its favour, whether it's because it's a superstition or you reckon the slot machines work in your favour, this is the strongest reason why people keep coming back for more.
If these reasons compel you to gamble and you find it extremely difficult to stop you might need to try self-exclusion. Self-exclusion on its own might not be enough to help you recover but it might be a good way to start, not to mention it could assist in setting up your support network.
How to Employ Self-Excluding Techniques
So having read all this, some of you may be thinking that you might be suffering from problem gambling. How do you go about doing this? The process is simple but varies depending on where you tend to gamble. There are various websites throughout the UK that help with this and provide you with all the information you need. If you're still unsure, ask your gambling operator for more details. They are, by law, obligated to help.
Below are are sites to help you with any self-exclusion techniques you can access below.
Self-Exclude From Bookmakers
To help with exclusion from bookmakers, there are a couple of people that you can contact:
- Self-Exlusion.co.uk: Call them on 0800 294 2060 to help you exclude yourself from more than one shop. Visit their website for terms and conditions.
Self Exclude From Casinos
To help you self-exclude from all land-based UK Casinos, please visit the following site:
- Playingsafe.org.uk: On organisation that promotes safe and sensible gambling, Playing Safe is an admirable organisation that helps as many people as it can with plenty of resources and information.
Self Exclude From Online Gambling
A bit more general but no less valid, online gambling needs just as much self-exclusion (if not more so) than regular gambling operators:
- Opt-in to Self-Exclude: This is a multi-operator site that has been developed for online gambling companies.
- GamCare: Amnother multi-operator self-exclusion site, this is once again another good site for online players.
Breaking Your Self-Exclusion
Believe it or not, there are ways in which you can break your self-exclusion agreement. We're not going to tell you how it's done (because we don't want you to, obviously) but it happens especially in an anonymous gambling environment where players go incognito. If you have gambled while self-excluded, it's your responsibility to inform the gambling operator as quickly as possibly. It is also the gambling operator's responsibility to reduce such incidents to an absolute minimum.
While such occurrences aren't 100% avoidable (we're only human after all), there are ways you can help reduce temptation to break your self-exclusion, informing organisations such as the UK Gambling Commission being the primary step. Here is what you need to tell them in order to stop this from happening again:
- The date you entered into your self-exclusion agreement
- The method you used to let your company know you wanted self-exclusion
- What the company provided to confirm the self-exclusion was active
- The period you chose to be self-excluded for
- The dates you gambled even though you thought you had a self-exclusion agreement in place
- Any contact you had with the company since you gambled with them.
The commission will then use this information provided to take action. However, do not expect them to help you to get a refund.