Be sure to read over PGCB’s official instructions for voluntary self-exclusion for complete details before applying. The following is a basic step-by-step list of what to expect:
In Person Only – No Exceptions
The individual applying for self-exclusion must do so in person and of their own will at the PGCB office or any other approved PGCB location. No one may place any one else on the self-exclusion list.
What to Bring
The applicant must bring with them a valid, government issued, photo identification card. If the person cannot provide sufficient proof of their identity, they will not be permitted to sign up.
What Information is Required
The voluntary self-exclusion application will require a lengthy list of information, mostly to assist gambling operators in validating the applicants identity should they attempt to access a PA gambling facility. In addition to a valid photo ID (driver’s license, passport, etc), the individual will also need to provide:
- Name, including any aliases or nicknames
- Date of birth
- Address of current residence
- Telephone number
- Social security number
- Detailed physical description (height, weight, gender, hair color, eye color and any other physical characteristic that may assist in identification)
What Happens Next
Once the application is processed, gambling operators must refuse to accept wagers from self-excluded gamblers. Access to junket participation, check cashing privileges, club memberships, comps, and promotions shall be denied. The person must be removed from all marketed solicitation, targeted mailings, and any other form of solicited or promotional materials related to gambling or gambling properties.
Responsibility is not left solely to the state’s gambling operators. If a self-excluded person attempts to access a land-based casino, they can and will be arrested for trespassing. If the person manages to access a gambling activity, they will not be able to collect any winnings, or recover any losses. Those funds will be remitted to the PGCB to fund problem gambling prevention and treatment.
How Do I Know If Self-Exclusion is Right for Me?
Gambling addiction is far easier to deny than it is to recognize. The PGCB’s Responsible Play program is designed to help people recognize whether or not their gambling behavior is problematic. According to this program, some of the most common signs include:
- Becoming preoccupied with gambling
- Lying or getting defensive about gambling
- Feeling restless or irritable when not gambling
- Increasing bets to increase excitement
- Gambling to escape problems
- Risking your job, relationships and freedom
If you believe you might have a problem, take the Gambling Problem Self-Assessment Quiz. It’s completely anonymous, and can help you determine whether or not it’s time to make a change.