Let’s talk gambling
Spotlight on self-exclusion
By: Dr Anastasia Hronis (clinical psychologist)
If you’ve been struggling to manage your gambling, then self-exclusion may be a useful option for you to consider.
Self-exclusion is a voluntary process where a person bans themselves from entering specific gambling venues, or from accessing online providers. All Australian gambling providers are required to provide the option to customers to self-exclude from accessing their venue or their products. Self-exclusion may not be available from gambling websites that are registered outside of Australia.
So, when might self-exclusion be an option for you to consider?
There are several signs that indicate a person might be struggling with gambling. If you identify with any of these signs, then it may be worth you considering self-exclusion as an option to manage or restrict your gambling.
Signs that you may be having difficulty with gambling include:
- Thinking about gambling regularly/every day
- Hiding your gambling from family and friends
- Borrowing money to gamble
- You let bills go unpaid
- Gambling is affecting other areas of your life such as work or relationships
- You use gambling as an escape from problems in life
- You find you need to gamble more or for longer periods
- You feel anxious, sad, embarrassed or guilty about your gambling
- You’ve tried to cut back your gambling in the past but haven’t been successful at maintaining it.
What is the process involved when you opt for self-exclusion?
Different states and territories have different regulations, processes, and time frames for self-exclusion. If you are wanting to discuss the options for self-exclusion, speak with your gambling operator about the process, or click here for more information.
By law, Australian gambling providers must give consumers the option to self-exclude from their venue. You can ban yourself from venues like clubs, pubs, casinos or TABs. Venue operators will work with you to assist you to enter into a voluntary self-exclusion agreement that bans you from entering the gaming areas of that club, pub or casino.
You will enter into a deed that excludes you for an agreed minimum period of time. The deeds often authorise venue management to take reasonable steps to remove you from the restricted gaming area of these venues if you breach the agreements of the deed.
You can also self-exclude from gambling websites. Most reputable gambling websites will allow you to block yourself from holding an account with them. Be wary of using offshore gambling sites which are illegal, and can sometimes disguise themselves to seem Australian-based, with “Aussie” branding and slogans. Self-exclusion may not be available from sites registered outside of Australia. For a list of gambling websites that have been verified as being Australian based, click here.
In the coming months, Australia will also launch “BetStop”, a national self-exclusion register. Once ready, people will be able to self-exclude from all licensed interactive wagering services for a minimum period of 3 months and up to a lifetime. BetStop will be a free service. If you choose to self-exclude, wagering providers will be required to close all your betting accounts and must not let you place a bet, let you open a new account and send you marketing messages.
To find out more about BetStop and keep updated with the national self-exclusion register launch, click here.
For some, self-exclusion is a step taken when other methods of minimising harm have been tried without much success. For others, self-exclusion can be the first step. If you would like to talk to someone about your gambling contact Gambler’s Help on 1800 858 858. Or visit here to find out more about self-exclusion.
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