Gambling addiction is a serious mental health condition, but there are steps you can take such as joining the California self-exclusion list for either cardrooms or tribal casinos (or both) to help combat problematic betting behaviors. The lists are optional, but they are often the most effective way to keep from engaging in risky gambling.
In this piece, we’ll explain how California’s gambling self-exclusion list works, the steps you can take to enroll in exclusion programs, and what benefits are provided to CA’s betting populace.
Does California have a self-exclusion list for gamblers?
Yes, California has a self-exclusion list for gamblers. The Bureau of Gambling Control and the California Gambling Control Commission have made a self-exclusion program available that allows cardroom patrons to voluntarily restrict their access to gambling opportunities.
Additionally, each tribal casino runs its own program. This can make things a bit challenging, as only one application form is needed to cover all cardrooms but multiple forms are required for casino gaming.
There is no cost associated with enrolling in any gambling exclusion program.
How does the California self-exclusion list work?
The California gambling self-exclusion list works by providing casinos and cardrooms with identifying characteristics of those who have voluntarily blocked their betting accesses. Patrons will be prohibited from collecting any gambling winnings and will be removed from casino/cardroom grounds if they are found to be participating in wagering activities.
Any winnings or prizes earned by an individual on the self-exclusion list would be forfeited and instead given to the California Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling. Violators could also be charged with trespassing and be subject to criminal penalties.
If California legalizes sports betting, CA residents could also extend their self-exclusion to cover sports wagers. However, sports betting legalization still seems to be years away.
Why do some gamblers put themselves on the California self-exclusion list?
Some gamblers put themselves on the California self-exclusion list to prevent engaging in risky or addictive gambling behaviors. Those opting for a shorter term play can use the list as a “cool down” period or they can take the opportunity to walk away from gambling endeavors altogether.
Putting your name on the list, especially if you’re looking for a lifetime ban, is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Consult with your friends and family to see if such a step may be necessary, and don’t be afraid to consult a gambling counselor to assess your risk levels. Resources like 1-800-GAMBLER and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can help you decide if the exclusion program would be beneficial for you.
Is it possible to take yourself off the California self-exclusion list?
No, it is not possible to take yourself out of the California self-exclusion list after your request has been approved. The only way to be able to gamble again after applying for the list is by waiting for the time period you selected to expire.
With that in mind,if you have enrolled in the program, we highly encourage you to keep your name on the list and reapply if necessary. We know this is a heavy task to undertake, but it is one of the surest ways to combat gambling addiction and prevent problematic betting behaviors from impacting your life in a negative way.