The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced on June 5, 2023 that it received its 20,000th voluntary request to be barred from entering and participating in gambling at all Commonwealth casinos and retail sports betting venues within the scope of of the agency’s casino self-exclusion program.
Established in 2006, the program allows individuals to apply for a ban on entering and gambling at a Pennsylvania casino or retail sports betting venue for one year, five years or for life.
The self-excluded individual is notified when agreeing to be listed that they could be charged with trespassing if they enter a Pennsylvania casino and have their gambling winnings related to that casino visit confiscated.
“The casino’s self-exclusion program, along with the agency’s three other self-exclusion programs, are effective and time-tested tools for empowering individuals to regain control of their lives and learn about other recovery resources,” said Elizabeth Lanza, director of the Bureau of Compulsive and Problem Gambling. “The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem to seek treatment and consider taking advantage of voluntary self-exclusion programs.”
Additional data from the Pennsylvania program, based on people’s self-exclusion interview responses, showed that 4,335 (21%) of 20,000 people in Pennsylvania had chosen lifelong ban.
A total of 12,811 males and 7,189 females have signed up for the self-exclusion program—individuals on this list range in age from 21 to 102.
One thousand twenty-six self-excluded individuals chose to re-enroll in the program after previously removing their name from the list, including 307 who selected a lifetime ban upon re-enrolling.
Lanza added that many people enrolled in the casino’s self-exclusion program have not only engaged in gambling with slot machines and table games, but also in other types of gambling activities regulated by the PGC extensionsuch as online casino-type games, sports betting, video game terminals at truck stops and fantasy sports.
To assist individuals wishing to ban themselves from other types of legalized gaming, the PGC extension has additional self-exclusion programs.
A total of 3,778 people have banned themselves from gambling in online casinos, including poker. Almost 800 had excluded themselves from fantasy sports. As for the VGTs, the list has 1,467 names.