Colorado’s Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program is deigned for those who recognize at-risk behavior, and wish to take steps to protect themselves from harm. Self-exclusion has been around for years, but it’s gotten a lot more attention since the legalization of sports betting, both on land and online.
How Do I Know If I Have a Problem?
If you’re unsure whether you have a problem, or think you might be are at-risk for developing a gambling problem, the National Council on Problem Gambling provides a quick, 10-question test known as the NORC Diagnostic Self-Assessment Screen, (a.k.a. NODS-SA). You can find and take the online test here, but remember to be honest with yourself. The results are anonymous. What you do with them is entirely up to you.
What Happens After I Sign Up?
Signing up for voluntary self-exclusion comes with a host of benefits. First and foremost, volunteers will not be able to gamble at any physical or virtual gambling destinations in Colorado. While it may be possible to circumvent identification screenings, it would not be wise to do so. As an excluded gambler, you can lose money, but you cannot win.
Cashing out winnings becomes extremely difficult, if not impossible. When a self-excluding gambler attempts to cash out winnings, either at the cashier cage (requires government issued photo ID), or at an online sportsbook (requires strict identity verification), the state can permanently confiscate the money. On the plus side, those funds go to support problem gambling prevention and treatment programs. So in a way, you could say violators are reinvesting in their future.
Self-exclusion also requires gambling operators to cease all manner of solicitation towards the individual. Volunteers will no longer receive mail or email marketing materials related to gambling. Any operator found guilty of sending any form of promotional material to an excluded gambler will be heavily penalized with fines. That money also goes to fund problem gambling prevention and treatment programs.
What If I Change My Mind?
Voluntary self-exclusion doesn’t have to be permanent, although it is an option. Colorado’s program gives individuals the choice of excluding themselves from gambling for a period of 3 years, 5 years, 10 years, or lifetime. Only those who choose lifetime cannot reverse their exclusion status.
Choosing to excluding for a period of 3, 5, or 10 years does not mean that, once the chosen period of time expires, you can head back to the casinos. In order to be removed from voluntary self-exclusion, the individual must submit a Self-Exclusion Rescind Application at any time after the chosen time frame expires.
Can I Sign Someone Else Up for Exclusion?
No. As the program’s name clearly implies, individuals may only sign themselves up for Voluntary Self-Exclusion. No one can be forced to sign up. No one can sign anyone else up. It just doesn’t work that way.