Self-Exclusion in Online Gambling

Learn about what Self-Exclusion means in the gambling industry. Learn how to do a self-exclusion, what the steps are, and if self-exclusion works.

The gambling problem is a serious crisis which, according to a survey by YouGov, affects about 1.4 million individuals living in the United Kingdom who are considered problem gamblers. This figure makes up approximately 2.7℅ of all adults in the United Kingdom. However, the UK Gambling Commission, UKGC, thinks of the estimate provided by YouGov as inaccurate and inflated. The Gambling Commission places the total population of problem gamblers to be around 0.7℅.

Regardless of the factual or authentic total estimate, both figures are quite alarming, considering about 22.5 million adults resident in the UK places a form of wagering every month, according to the BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher. According to the UKAT, 13℅ gamblers have made suicide attempts, and one in every two gamblers has pawned off their personal belongings to fund their gambling obsession. This is to show how dangerous and destructive gambling, if unchecked, can become.

The dangers associated with gambling led to the introduction of self-exclusion, a policy and scheme adopted by the UK government as another means of dealing with gambling problems. This scheme has also been adopted and enforced by several casinos, betting houses, arcade centres, and bookmakers across the United Kingdom.

What is self-exclusion?

Self-exclusion, also known as voluntary exclusion, is the act of deliberately obstructing one’s self from all forms of gambling by informing a gambling provider to offer help by prohibiting a problem gambler from the site for a period of six months, up to five years.

All individuals who wish to provide gambling services in the UK must include this self-exclusion feature to protect the safety of consumers with a gambling problem. This feature also ensures that gamblers who place a request for self-exclusion and have fulfilled the requirements are denied access to the site and banned from gaining access to gambling services for some time. Additionally, problem gamblers seeking help can also opt for software which shuts off entry to any gambling website that is part of the self-exclusion scheme in the UK.

One such software is GamBan, which aids those with online gambling difficulty and offers additional support to the self-exclusion scheme by providing a ban of up to five years on all online gambling sites and apps.

Steps to self-exclusion

A problem gambler, who gambles with more than one gambling operator can choose to self-exclude from each separately or together all at once. To exclude one gambling operator, the onsite staff will assist with how to do so. If the gambling operator is online, the ‘Responsible Gambling’ segment, also known as ‘Safer Gambling’ or help section, offers assistance on how to self-exclude.

To exclude from several gambling providers altogether, there are “multi-operator” procedures available with different gambling categories, allowing a problem gambler to select whichever variety of gambling to self-exclude from. These range from online gambling to arcade centres, betting shops, bingo centres, casinos, etc.

How to Self-Exclude at Online Casino

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You will need to log in to your gambling account at the bookmaker or casino.

You will need to log in to your gambling account at the bookmaker or casino.

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Go to My account

Find the “Safer Gambling” option in your account.

Find the “Safer Gambling” option in your account.

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Select Self Exclusion

Enter or Tick “Self Exclusion” section;

Enter or Tick “Self Exclusion” section;

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Read T&Cs

Select the terms and conditions and read them carefully.

Select the terms and conditions and read them carefully.

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Select Time Out

Choose the period that you would like to self exclude.

Choose the period that you would like to self exclude.

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Confirm Your Changes.

Enter your password and confirm that you do want to self exclude.

Enter your password and confirm that you do want to self exclude.

How does self-exclusion work?

To start the self-exclusion procedure, a problem gambler must voluntarily request an application and proceed to complete it so their names can be included in the self-exclusion record. If the application is successful, such gamblers will be prohibited from entering casinos, betting shops, arcade centres, etc., that are part of the self-exclusion scheme and have adopted the policy.

A problem gambler who is part of the scheme will be bound by the following rules:

  • The exclusion lasts for a minimum period of six months
  • There will be a need to provide authentic proof of identity, which must contain a photograph for easy identification.
  • Removal from the marketing database of every gambling provider.
  • Zero contact from gambling providers throughout the entirety of the scheme
  • There is no chance to quit the scheme before the expiration of the time limit set.
  • After successfully completing the scheme, a gambler will not be automatically reinstated into the marketing database of any gambling provider.

In addition, a self-excluded gambler can be arrested and indicted for trespass if such a  person tries to enter a gambling establishment that is part of the self-exclusion scheme. If a self-excluded gambler is found to possess winnings, tokens, chips, or any other gambling material while detained, such will be seized and considered invalid.

Signs of Problem Gambling – Know When To Stop!

While gambling is meant to be fun and enjoyable, there are times when it can loom out of control and become an addiction, and today, I want to show you 5 signs that it might be time to stop, and have a break.

Hiding Your Gambling

If you’re finding the need to lie about your gambling, or do it in secret, there’s a good chance it might be time to take a break and stop gambling. I know what it feels like – maybe you feel others won’t understand, or that you can surprise them once you’ve won big… but if you’re hiding your habits from friends and loved ones, it’s a strong sign your gambling is turning more from an enjoyable pastime, into an addiction.

Problems Walking Away

This is one of the most important out of any piece of advice on this page, and I really recommend you take this one seriously.

Can you stop gambling when you want? If you set yourself a stop-loss-limit, once you reach it, are you disciplined enough to walk away? How about if you’re on a winning session, and tell yourself you’ll leave after 10 more hands? If you can’t walk away and end your gambling sessions, it’s a strong indicator you may have a gambling problem, and may need help.

Gambling On Credit/When You Don’t Have The Money

Have you ever gambled when you knew you couldn’t afford it? Have you ever borrowed money to gamble, or gone into your credit cards? If so, there’s a chance you may be suffering from a gambling problem, and you may want to try to take a break, or look for professional help – gambling is no joke, and if you’re struggling financially, yet still finding ways to gamble, there’s a good chance you might have a problem.

Do your friends and family worry about you?

Maybe you’ve told your loved ones you gamble… maybe they’ve found out… whatever the reasoning, do your family and friends display worry about your gambling habits?

Do they ever tell you you’re gambling too much, or that you seem different because of it? If so, this is a good sign you’re gambling too much, and you may want to think about cutting down, or quitting.

Do You Feel Angry At The Game/Machine?

When you first sit down at a gambling machine or table it’s fun and exciting – but after a while, for most players, it becomes either boring, or naturally a good time to leave. Do you find yourself getting increasingly angry at the dealer or machine if you’re losing?

Do you find yourself saying things under your breathe, or wanting the game to quicken up, when losing? If so, you may have a gambling problem and it could be a good time to take a break before things get completely out of control.

These are just a few things to watch out for – remember, always know when to stop, and if you feel out of control, get professional help – it’s never too late.


  • There is no chance to quit the self-exclusion scheme halfway.
  • For some, self-exclusion is enough to help them overcome their gambling problems. It helps them overcome difficulty controlling their gambling compulsion.
  • If successful, self-exclusion helps promote a healthy life, successful relationship with family, partners and even friends, better financial management, and a decent standard of living.


  • Gamblers are now opting for black market gambling operators. The UK is witnessing a surge in black market gambling sites due to the strict regulations and restrictions introduced by the government.
  • There isn't an option of automatically self-excluding from all sites at the same time. The procedure has to be done manually, which may be time-consuming depending on the number of sites. The self-exclusion scheme only allows an exclusion from multiple sites that offer the same variety of gambling. Self-exclusion might also not help a gambler with advanced gambling issues. Additionally, a gambler who has concluded the self-exclusion period might fall back into gambling if there is no follow-up.


Depending on the depth of a gambling problem, self-exclusion works. However, for a lasting result, it’s best to seek additional support apart from self-exclusion.

Once an application for self-exclusion is accepted, the gambling operator is mandated to shut down your account and refund all money in the account. All personal information must also be erased from their database so you can no longer be contacted.

All gambling operators and service providers operating on licensed premises, such as a casino or arcade centres, must be in the self-exclusion scheme. All online gambling websites are also required to have it included in their website.

It’s possible to still gamble while self-excluding. It’s essential to inform the gambling operators to assist them in improving their self-exclusion scheme. You can also provide the UKGC details of the operator, which is crucial in a situation whereby regulatory action needs to be taken against the gambling provider.