Self-Exclusion Tools Around The World
Author: Jack Reeve
Self-exclusion tools exist to reduce the harm that gambling could cause and control it for good. When gambling is done in excess or without control, it could lead to huge debts for the gamblers and financial issues for their families. Self-exclusion tools help to compulsorily lock the player with the harmful habit out of casinos till they can gamble responsibly. In some instances, problem gamblers find how to get around self-exclusion through different methods.
The most common method to bypass self-exclusion tools is to use offshore casinos. For instance, if a punter were restricted through the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme, they would use casino websites without UK license in the restriction period. Gamblers can put more controls on their habits by using more self-exclusion tools. Different tools use diverse methods to effectively help problem gamblers control their gambling addiction. In this article, we discuss various self-exclusion schemes available.
GamStop is the self-exclusion program run by the UK Gambling Commission. It is the most popular of all the self-exclusion tools available. GamStop works by allowing punters in the UK to register for the self-exclusion scheme for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 5 years. In this period, the gambler would be locked out of all registered casinos in the UK.
As the UKGC runs GamStop, it has access to punters’ data and profiles. Gamblers sometimes get around this by using online casinos not under GamStop. When a person registers with the scheme, it sends to all casinos where the punter has profiles to suspend the punters’ account and return any money in the account. The scheme can ensure that excluded gamblers do not register new accounts. It makes it mandatory for all registered UK casinos to run an extensive identity verification task on all new users.
SENSE is an acronym for ‘Self-Enrolment National Self-Exclusion scheme’. It is a self-exclusion scheme, just like Gamstop. It is also only available to UK gamblers and only applies to land casinos in the UK. Instead of self-excluding in UK land casinos, one after the other, SENSE allows gamblers with an addiction to self-exclude in one place and get banned in all casinos across the UK.
Interested gamblers can enrol with SENSE at a registered land-based casino in the UK. They can also enrol for the self-exclusion program online. To register online, gamblers only have to download and fill out the exclusion form and send it attached to a mail with the self-exclusion request and evidence of a valid ID. While the time the gambler requested to be excluded has not expired, the self-exclusion agreement cannot be terminated. After the time has passed, gamblers get to choose whether they wish to terminate the self-exclusion program or renew for another specified period.
SpelPaus is a self-exclusion program that runs in Sweden. The program is operated by the Swedish Gambling Authority, an equivalent of the UKGC in the UK. SpelPaus regulates access to online casinos in Sweden. Just as with GamStop, all casinos licensed with the Swedish Gambling Authority are bound to respect a gambler’s decision to self exclude. Any casino that fails to do this would be penalised by restricting or completely taking away their gambling license.
Gamblers looking to self exclude should register on SpelPaus for a specified time. Spelpaus allows them to select between one month to six months or an unspecified period. SpelPaus is effective because all licensed casinos would not allow self-excluded gamblers to operate accounts on their websites. However, casino sites with no Swedish license often advertise their freedom from regulations to gamblers. Often, problem gamblers fall back on these offshore casinos even while their SpelPaus agreement is running.
AAMS is an acronym for the Italian phrase “Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato”. This is the self-exclusion programme run to help gamblers beat addictions. It is very similar to GamStop and SpelPaus. It allows players to register for self-exclusion and be banned from all registered casino sites while the self-exclusion programme is running. AAMS makes it mandatory for casinos in Italy to participate in making the system effective. Any casino that faults in carrying out this duty or has loose systems that allow self-excluded gamblers to gamble will lose its gambling license.
AAMS allows gamblers to choose to be banned from online casinos indefinitely or for a few months, six months, a year or five years. Once the programme is active, the gambler cannot change the specification of the agreement. This Italian self-exclusion programme is also limited because gamblers can still play in unlicensed casinos from other countries.
Germany launched its casino self-exclusion scheme, OASIS, in 2021. Just like other self-exclusion programs, it works by making it mandatory for all legal, German online casinos to be registered on the OASIS system. Any gambler who opts for self-exclusion would be blocked across all registered casinos. If a casino fails to effect this action, they could lose their license for it.
OASIS allows gamblers to register for self-exclusion for a specified period. The gambler can also choose to set the agreement for an unspecified period. If the agreement does not specify a time, it can only be terminated by the gambler’s request after the agreement has been on for a year. Online gambling was only recently made legal in Germany, and it required German casinos to register and fulfil specific obligations like the one they have to OASIS. If this scheme would be successful, then Germany has to put illegal casino operations to a halt.
ROFUS is the self-exclusion programme run in Denmark. It is operated by the Danish Gambling Authority, ‘Spillemyndigheden’. This self-exclusion programme gave gamblers the right to request self-exclusion from any licensed casino they gamble on. The casino is also required to acknowledge the request, restrict the user’s account and forward the profile to the general ROFUS body. Like most other self-exclusion schemes, ROFUS is available to gamblers from other regions like the UK to register using NemID and restrict their access to Danish casinos.
ROFUS is different from other countries’ self-exclusion programmes because it restricts gamblers’ access to online and land-based casinos. With one registration, a gambler can be locked out of all legal casinos in Denmark. It allows gamblers to select to be restricted for a specific period or indefinitely. ROFUS is also not entirely adequate because registered gamblers can still use non-Danish casinos.
CRUKS is short for the Dutch phrase, “Centraal Register Uitsluiting Kansspelen”. This is the self-exclusion being run by the government in the Netherlands. It was created with its remote gambling act that was released in 2021. CRUKS allows Dutch citizens to register with their Public Service Number, and non-Dutch citizens can register with a valid foreign ID.
CRUKS works by monitoring persons who register online or at land-based casinos. When a new punter wants to register, they must submit their Public Service Number. If they are registered on CRUKS, the system will notify the casino and be barred from continuing in the casino. To make the process easier, after a CRUKS person has been denied entry into a casino, the casino is allowed to keep their CRUKS number on a list. They can identify that the punter is on the self-exclusion program very fast with that list.
RGIAJ is the self-exclusion programme run by the Spanish government. This scheme uses a register for prohibited gamblers, referred to as the DGOJ Register of Prohibitions. Persons registered on this list would be banned from accessing online gambling operators. The Commission would also communicate the punter’s self-exclusion request to supportive communities. This would ensure that the punter cannot register in casinos that require that players must not be in any self-exclusion programs.
Gamblers wishing to self-exclude can register on RGIAJ by submitting a form in person. It can also be done online through the regulatory body’s website or the mobile app. An RGIAJ registration runs indefinitely, but it can only be cancelled after six months in the programme.
SRIJ is an acronym for the Portuguese phrase, ‘Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos’. This is the self-exclusion scheme run in Portugal for locking interested gamblers out of online casinos. Portugal created this scheme after it legalised online gambling within the country. In addition to creating the exclusion scheme, Portugal also set up treatment centres to help people with gambling addiction problems overcome them.
To register in the self-exclusion scheme, a punter would simply download the Prohibition Request Form on SRIJ’s website and follow the instructions provided. Once registered, they would be locked out of all registered online casinos in Portugal. To terminate the agreement, the punter would follow similar steps to those used for registration from the SRIJ official website. This service also provides anonymous psychological counselling for punters struggling with gambling addictions.
Self-Exclusion Tools: FAQ
💡 What are gambling self-exclusion tools?
These are tools that help gamblers with gambling addictions to handle the addiction. They promote responsible gambling and restrict the gambler’s access to online or land casinos for a specified period. Self-exclusion tools are provided mainly by government agencies, so they only restrict casinos that are licensed and registered with the government.
💡 Are self-exclusion tools free to use?
Yes, self-exclusion tools are free to use. They are provided by government agencies, so they are primarily free social services to protect citizens from the horrors of gambling addictions. Some other alternatives to self-exclusion tools like gambling blockers are not free to use.
💡 Are there any alternatives to self-exclusion tools?
Yes, there are other alternatives to self-exclusion tools, such as gambling blockers, but most of the time, they require fees because they are created by private entities. Gambling blockers block your access to gambling sites directly from your devices.
💡 Are there any ways to stop self-exclusion after activation?
No, the self-exclusion programme has to run for the whole time you specified when you were registering. You can only exit the scheme after that time expires. If you set the programme to run indefinitely, you can stop it after you have passed the minimum period requirement.
💡 Is it possible to gamble while being self-excluded?
Yes, self-exclusion tools are limited because they only restrict gamblers’ access to casinos within their jurisdiction. Bettors can still gamble when on self-exclusion and access offshore casino sites that are outside the reach of their country’s gambling commission.