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Self-Exclusion is Often a Trap

Author: Josh Wilde ~ author of Wilde is the Joker

Self-exclusion can be a helpful tool for someone with a gambling problem but online it is more often a trap instead of a tool.

It is intended for someone to make it impossible for him to gamble. If he lives in an isolated area where there is only one casino it can, indeed, be helpful. No matter where you live, however, you have literally thousands of online casinos, ranging from the best gambling sites to the very worst, and self- excluding at one will not keep stop you from choosing one of the others.

If that was the only problem with it, Gambling City would not be issuing this warning. Unfortunately, it goes far beyond that. All too many casinos will allow someone who self excludes to deposit and play but if he wins refuse to pay on the grounds that he had self-excluded. Some casinos go beyond that and will deny your winnings if you play at any of its related casinos – even when it is almost impossible to know which casinos they are.

Gambling Grumbles is full of complaints from people who self-excluded at Casino A, later played at Casino B, and when they tried to cash out their winnings were told that the two casinos are connected and their winnings were voided.

To be fair, there are also players who try to use self-exclusion to cheat casinos. They self-exclude, play, and if they lose they demand that their money be refunded because of the self-exclusion. Of course, if they win, they say nothing.

There is only one way that self-exclusion can work on the internet and that is if every single online casino immediately banned players who had self-excluded at any casino. This would not be effective if even 90% of online casinos took part or even 100% of those considered "recommended casinos". It would have to be each and every one, but given the lack of connection between internet casinos, that is not likely to ever happen.

It is our recommendation that no player ever self-excludes at an online casino. At the very best, he will simply play at a different casino the next time he gets the urge to gamble. At the very worst, he will find himself a victim of those few casinos who use their self-exclusion list as an advertising tool. After all, someone with a gambling problem is among the most likely to be lured by a juicy bonus offer – and these same casinos know they can use self-exclusion as an excuse not to pay.

If you do have a gambling problem, you need more serious help than self-exclusion can offer. Seek it from a professional, perhaps a psychologist who specializes in addiction problems, or from one of the organizations like Gamblers Anonymous, who exist to help people who have gambling problems.

Do not, however, self-exclude at an online casino – it can only make your situation worse.