Self-Exclusion Options for Problem Gambling:
Problem gambling involves a compulsion to continue gambling despite the negative consequences or the desire to stop. If you want to stop, but feel that compulsion drawing you back, you can use a recovery tool called self-exclusion.
Self–exclusion is a process that allows you to voluntarily ban yourself from gambling activities at hotels, pubs, clubs, TABs and online. Self-exclusion plays an important role in the recovery process as it prevents you from playing while you seek treatment for your problem gambling behaviours.
Most self-exclusion programs involve an application process and the signing of a 'Deed' of self-exclusion which includes:
- the name of any venue(s) you have chosen to be self- excluded from;
- the selected duration of self-exclusion;
- a list of undertakings;
- a passport sized photo to be distributed to the nominated venues
- an acknowledgement that the venue has no legal obligations under the self-exclusion;
- and an understanding by the patron that you may be removed (with reasonable force) from the nominated venue(s) if you are found breaching your self-exclusion.
Most people still want to be able to enjoy a meal with friends and to make use of the other amenities at the clubs or hotels they frequent. Most self-exclusion programs let you elect whether you want to be excluded from the entire venue, or from the gaming room, or from all gambling activities inside the venue.
For example if you banned yourself from gambling activities at your local leagues club, you could still go to the club to have a drink and a meal or to see a show, but you couldn't enter any area with poker machines, Keno or the TAB. If you banned yourself from the entire venue, you couldn't enter the club for any reason.
There are different self-exclusion programs for clubs, hotels and pubs, NSW lotteries, TABs and online betting websites such as Sportsbet, and the details of some of these programs are listed below. If you would like to self-exclude you can contact a Gambling Help counsellor to support you to do so, or you can follow the links to the self-exclusion programs and contact them yourself.
ClubSafe NSW provides support via a web based multi-venue-self-exclusion program which is designed to assist people with a gambling problem to self-exclude from up to 35 clubs around which they live, work and socialise.
ClubSafe limits the number of venues you can self-exclude from as it makes it easier for club staff to identify someone who is breaking their self-exclusion since they're only looking for people who live or work in the area – instead of trying to keep an eye out for self-excluded people who live hundreds of kilometres away.
Once you would have had to go to the manager of each and every club around your home and workplace, admit to a gambling problem and ask to be self-excluded. Now you can see your local Gambling Help counsellor and self-exclude from multiple venues without ever having to put a foot inside a single club. However, if you prefer you can still go to your local club and self-exclude from multiple venues--just ask for the manager and they will assist you.
You will be asked for your personal contact details; to nominate the clubs you want to be excluded from and whether you want to be excluded from the entire venue, the gaming areas only or a total gambling ban; to decide on how long you want to be excluded for whether that be 6 months, a year or two years; and then a photo will be taken of you and uploaded into the system. Once this is done your support person will print out two copies of the deed (one for you and one for your file) for you to sign. The online system will then send out your details and photograph to the clubs you have nominated.
If a club staff member sees you in an area or venue that you have self-excluded from, they or their supervisor will discretely approach you, confirm your identity and then ask you to leave that area. If you refuse to leave you can be escorted from the premises by club staff or security.
Club staff do all they can to keep an eye out for banned patrons, but ultimately it is your responsibility to abide by the deed you voluntarily chose. Even if you do manage to breach your self-ban without being detected by staff, your experience of being in front of the machine or in the TAB is compromised through fear or concern that you may be detected breaching your self-exclusion deed.
Hotels in NSW offer self-exclusion through the GameCare program. You can contact the GameCare Self Exclusion Hotline on 1300 137 404 for a detailed information kit to be posted to you, or you can approach any staff member at the hotel for information, or a Gambling Help Counsellor.
When you self-exclude through the GameCare program you can still enter the venue for the purposes of having a meal or a drink, but you cannot enter the restricted gaming rooms.
GameCare self-exclusion involves a 40 minute interview. At the interview, the GameCare representative will go through the Deed, clause by clause, and explain exactly what the Deed entails, its ramifications, and answer any queries you may have. At the end of the interview, you are asked if you definitely want to be self-excluded, and then you are invited to sign the Deed.
Once the Deed is executed, passport-sized photographs of you will be taken and distributed along with a copy of the signed Deed of Self Exclusion to each of the hotels that you have nominated. The photos ensure that staff at the hotel are familiar with the appearance of the patron and all steps are taken to protect the patron's confidentiality.
BetCare (1800 882 876) is a voluntary self-exclusion program supported by Tabcorp.
As a member of BetCare, you can exclude yourself from up to 15 TAB Agencies in New South Wales as well as 15 participating Hotels and Clubs. You can also opt to have your TAB betting account (telephone and internet) suspended.
All you need is a copy of a photo ID (e.g. your driver's license or passport), two current passport-sized photos, a list of which venues you want to exclude yourself from, and then read and complete the BetCare Self-Exclusion Application Form and mail it all to: The compliance Officer C/O Tabcorp, GPO Box 4168, SYDNEY NSW 2001
As part of the NSW Lotteries commitment to responsible gaming, you can self-exclude from being able to use your registered internet account for a period of 180 days. Your Player's Card will be deactivated and NSW lotteries will stop mailing promotional letters to you.
You can either contact NSW Lotteries on 1300 138 132 and ask to speak to a Responsible Play Liaison Officer or you can submit an online Self Exclusion request by logging into your account, clicking on the Self Manage link in the Account menu, and then following the process to self-exclude.
Your completed Deed of Self Exclusion will then be submitted to NSW Lotteries Customer Support. Your registered Account will be de-activated for an initial period of 180 days. Please note that after this period your account can only be re-activated upon receipt of a written request by you. This written request should be directed to NSW Lotteries Customer support. Members who Self-Exclude three times are permanently excluded.
Sportsbet has a number of options to help you self-exclude from wagering on the telephone and from all Sportsbet sites, including web, mobile and tablet apps.
If you feel the problem is serious enough, you can request a permanent self-exclusion where Sportsbet will close your account permanently and you will not be able to reopen it.
To self-exclude from Sportsbet call the customer service team on: 1800 990 907. You can also follow the above link to download the Self Exclusion Form for Sportsbet and other wagering operators.
You can ask to be banned from the Star casino for a minimum period of 12 months. To do this you can approach a Casino Host at a Host desk or a security officer at any entrance to the gaming areas, or you can ring the Responsible Gambling Manager on 9657 7645 (during office hours).
You will need current photo identification, such as your driver's licence or passport. Staff at the casino will accompany you to an interview room where you will be photographed. These photographs are signed by you and witnessed by staff. The photo is to assist casino staff in identifying you. You will be asked to sign a form that acknowledges that you are prohibited from returning to The Star. You will also be provided with an information package containing contact details for gambling counselling services available in NSW, including BetCare counselling services.