Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reaches 20,000 Casino Self-Exclusion Requests

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Derek Blake
Casino News


  • PGCB received its 20,000th exclusionary request from casinos and sportsbooks
  • Over 4300 indviduals have requested a lifetime ban from Keystone State gaming locations
  • Close to 800 players have asked to be banned from fantasy sports games

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently received its 20,000th voluntary request for self-exclusion from individuals who wanted exclusion from entering and participating in gaming activities at the state's casinos and retail sports wagering locations.

The Casino Self-Exclusion Program, established in 2006, has proven to be an effective tool in helping individuals regain control over their lives. Under the Casino Self-Exclusion Program, individuals can request a ban from entering and gambling at PA casinos and retail sports wagering locations for varying periods. 

"The Casino Self-Exclusion Program, along with the agency's 3 other self-exclusion programs, are effective and proven tools that allow for individuals to regain control over their lives, and to learn about other recovery resources," said Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling (OCPG). "The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board encourages anyone who thinks they may have a gambling problem to seek treatment and consider taking advantage of the voluntary Self-Exclusion Programs."

Players Can Vary Exclusion Time From Casinos and Sportsbooks

Players wanting exclusion can choose from one year, five years, or even a lifetime on the list.
Once a person is on the self-exclusion list, gaming facilities in the Keystone State are legally obligated to refuse wagers and deny any gaming privileges to that individual. This blanket denial includes refusal of check cashing privileges, player club membership, complimentary goods and services, junket participation, and other similar benefits.
It is important to note that individuals who agree to placement on the self-exclusion list are made aware that entering a Pennsylvania casino while on the list could result in criminal trespass charges. Additionally, any gambling winnings related to that casino visit are open to being confiscated.

Individuals Can Also Opt Out of Different Pennsylvania Games

Further analysis of Pennsylvania's self-exclusion program data, gathered from individuals during the self-exclusion intake interview, provides fascinating insights:

  • Of the 20,000 individuals enrolled in Pennsylvania's program, 4,335 (21%) have chosen the lifetime ban option.
  • The program has attracted 12,811 male participants and 7,189 female participants.
  • Enrolled individuals range in age from 21 to 102 years old.

Surprisingly, 1,026 individuals who had previously removed their names from the self-exclusion list later chose to re-enroll. Among them, 307 individuals opted for a lifetime ban upon re-enrollment.

Lanza further highlighted that many individuals enrolled in the Casino Self-Exclusion Program struggled with online slots and online table games and were also involved in other forms of regulated gaming activities overseen by the PGCB. These activities include PA online casinos games (iGaming), PA online sports betting, video gaming terminals (VGTs) at truck stops, and fantasy sports.

To cater to individuals who wish to exclude themselves from other forms of legalized gaming, the PGCB has implemented additional Self-Exclusion Programs. Introduced in 2019, these programs allow individuals to request bans from specific types of gaming. The current number of individuals who have chosen exclusion from these games is as follows:

  • i-Gaming: 3,778 individuals 
  • VGTs: 1,467 individuals 
  • Fantasy Sports: 797 individuals

The program and other self-exclusion programs continue to be a valuable resources for individuals seeking to overcome gambling-related issues. With the availability of treatment services and encouragement from the PGCB, those facing gambling problems should take advantage of these resources to regain control of their lives.

Derek Blake is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America and the regional casino business for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and focused on the collision of sports and politics.