Knowing when and how to self-exclude yourself from an online casino is a powerful method to protect yourself from unhealthy gambling behaviour. Here at CasinoGuide we believe that every player deserves to be informed about the tools available in order to keep one’s spending in check and keep gambling fun and fair for all. On this page we will give you all the info needed in order to agree to self-exclude yourself or a loved one.
If you believe that you are not in control of your gambling behaviour or believe that a loved one is a compulsive gambler, then it is imperative to know the signs early on. If you wish to learn more about the signs of compulsive gambling behaviour, then we have put together a comprehensive responsible gambling guide for you.
What is self-exclusion at online casinos?
Before we dive in, it is important to know what actually entails self-excluding yourself from online gambling. A person can self-exclude themselves from both online casino websites, as well as land-based premises. As the name suggests, self-exclusion needs to be done by the person themselves – they need to take the first step in the process. This is usually the hardest part, since the individual first needs to acknowledge that they are a compulsive gambler, which is an extremely courageous thing to do. Any person who opts to self-exclude themselves should feel extremely proud of themselves.
Self-exclusion is when an individual bans themselves from accessing online gambling solutions – including casino, bingo, sports betting and esports betting. The length varies and needs to be specified by the person themselves. The length of the self-exclusion period can range from 6 months, to one year, to five years and even for life, should this be necessary. For people based in the United Kingdom, there are several ways to set the process of self-exclusion in motion.
List of casino self-exclusion schemes
UK self-exclusion programmes are offered by various institutions and cover a range of gambling solutions, both land-based and online. Below we will cover all the available self-exclusion programmes available for people living in Britain and Northern Ireland.
GAMSTOP is one of the most reliable and effective self-exclusion programmes available within the UK. By signing up to GAMSTOP, you will immediately be banned from accessing or signing up to any gambling websites and apps licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Because GAMSTOP covers such a massive network of gambling websites, signing up here effectively bans you from all online casinos that accept British players. Of course, there are online casinos which are not on GAMSTOP but that also means that they are not licensed by the UKGC. We greatly discourage people from playing at online casinos that do not hold a licence issued by the UKGC.
Should you wish to give GAMSTOP a try, you will need the following details in order to start the process of signing up at for the GAMSTOP self-exclusion programme:
- The address of your current place of residence and any postcodes of places you have previously lived at.
- Your name, surname and date of birth.
- Any email addresses you have used to sign up at an online casino or betting site.
- Any mobile phone numbers you have used to sign up at an online casino or betting site.
- A picture of yourself (for land-based establishments only).
Please bear in mind that the self-exclusion can take up to 24 hours to come into effect. After you have provided GAMSTOP with your details and agreed to the self-exclusion, you will receive an email confirming your registration. The email will also contain more information on next steps to take and other tools to help you stay on the right track. With GAMSTOP you can choose to self-exclude yourself for a period of 6 months, one year or five years. You will also be given an account with them, where you can keep your personal details up to date.
Other self-exclusion programmes
Besides GAMSTOP, there are several other institutions that offer the ability to self-exclude oneself from different gambling solutions.
- MOSES (Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme) – Can be contacted to self-exclude yourself from land-based bookmakers nationwide.
- SENSE (Self Enrolment National Self Exclusion) – Can be contacted to self-exclude yourself from all land-based casino venues nationwide.
- BISES (Bingo Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme) – Can be contacted to self-exclude yourself from bingo sites and land-based bingo halls.
- BACTA – Can be contacted to self-exclude yourself from adult gaming centres, arcades and other entertainment centres.
- SmartEXCLUSION – Can be contacted to self-exclude from bingo and arcade centres.
Advantages of registering for self-exclusion at online casinos
It might be daunting to take the step towards registering yourself for self-exclusion and we understand that not everyone is ready to do so. However, if your gambling behaviour has gotten so out of control that only drastic measures can solve it, then self-exclusion is the only option. By self-excluding yourself, you immediately cut out a large part of the temptation for gambling again. By removing temptations which may lead to gambling, you can focus on resolving any financial debts and issues, as well as your mental well-being.
For more information on, please refer to our responsible gambling tools page.
What to do after registering for self-exclusion?
Once you have finished the registration process with the association of your choice, keep in mind that it can take up to 24 hours to take effect. From there on out, all online casino sites registered within the United Kingdom will block any login attempt on existing accounts, as well as block any attempts at creating new accounts. The self-exclusion ban will be lifted after the pre-specified period of time has elapsed. During this period, we recommend that you seek professional mental and / or financial help.
It is important to note that recovering from an online gambling addiction is a long process. Albeit long, you should know that you are not alone and help is out there. You can start by contacting a therapist or your GP and be referred to a professional who can help you get on the road to recovery.
Online casinos not on GAMSTOP
There are several online casinos that advertise themselves as being not on GAMSTOP, and thus allowing players to bypass the self-exclusion. We understand that recovering from compulsive gambling is a tough and long process and relapses are possible. GAMSTOP is a British association that works together with the UKGC. Only online casinos with a valid licence issued by the UKGC are affiliated with GAMSTOP. This means that any online casino that advertises itself as being not on GAMSTOP is thus an unlicensed, and potentially rogue, online casino. We urge players to steer clear from these casino websites at all times, as they are notorious for scamming players out of their money.
National Gambling Helpline
Should you have a need for it, there is a UK national helpline which can be contacted for free. You can call them anonymously on 0808 8020 133, by calling you will be connected with a professional who will give you confidential advice and counselling over the phone. You can use the national helpline to get advice on whether self-exclusion is a good solution for you or a loved one.