Nowadays, it is a legal requirement for companies to offer people the chance to self-exclude from their gambling products. In the some cases, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to self-exclude from just the casino, for example, or the entire gambling offering that the company has available.
Interestingly, it is increasingly difficult to find companies that will allow you to self-exclude from just the sports book, instead requiring you to self-exclude from all of their gambling offerings. For most, this makes sense as it is the likes of the casino that they have the biggest problem with, but not for all.
The entire point of the self-exclusion offering that gambling companies put forward is that it allows you to stop yourself from placing bets that you don’t want to place. For those that have a problem with self-control, this can be an excellent way of stopping themselves from spending more money than they can afford to lose.
The problem is, not everyone has a problem with all aspects of gambling and many people will feel that it is only in certain areas that they lack control. Should gambling companies allow people to be in better control of their own decision-making?
What Self-Exclusion Is
In simple terms, self-exclusion is a way to stop yourself from placing bets. If you trigger a self-exclusion capability on a website that you use, you will not be allowed to place bets with that company in the areas that you have excluded yourself from.
Whilst you make the request to be excluded, it is up to the gambling company that you have made the request to to ensure that your access to certain aspects of the site is limited. You will be asked how long you wish to self-exclude for, with the ban remaining in place for that period of time and not being lifted until it has elapsed.
If you have recognised that your gambling is becoming harmful, self-exclusion is a good way of getting yourself some time away from the habit in order to see if you’re able to regain some self-control. There are multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, which will allow you to make a single request to stop gambling that covers any and all operators that have signed up to the scheme.
One such example is GAMSTOP, but operators are also required to have their own self-exclusion arrangements that you can trigger for each particular company, should you wish to be more selective.
What You Can Exclude Yourself From
Different companies have different approaches to the self-exclusion tools that they offer. For some, there is a short option, sometimes referred to as something like ‘Take A Break’, which allows you to block yourself from the website of the company as a whole for anything from 24 hours up to 30 days.
If, on the other hand, you choose to self-exclude then this will usually be for a minimum period of something like six months. The big difference is that the self-exclusion option sometimes allows you to pick and choose what it is that you’re going to be excluded from.
With some sites you can, for example, self-exclude from just the Gaming products offered by a company, like casino, poker and bingo. Alternatively, you can choose to self-exclude from the virtual products that a betting site might offer. Finally, you can opt to exclude yourself from the entirety of the product on offer, which includes the sportsbook. This is something of a nuclear option, given that it might be a specific thing that you have an issue with as opposed to your gambling as a whole. Even so, it is how most companies handle self-exclusion as a method of helping you to control your gambling.
It is important to note that by law companies need to give you the ability to self-exclude but they do not need to give you the ability to just exclude from certain products. Unless this is made a legal requirement you will not see the option across the board. Indeed, some think that the fact self-exclusion is often such a terminal option it may keep people who have specific problems (like with casino games but not sports) betting for longer than they should do.
Self-Excluding From The Sportsbook
Though there are some companies that will allow you to self-exclude from the sportsbook and nothing else, it is not all that common.
For some reason, online betting sites seem to think that if you want to stop yourself from placing bets on sport then you must not want to do any sort of gambling whatsoever. This is probably because most people that have an issue with their gambling struggle to maintain control over the casino side of things. Similarly, people will often bet too much and too often when playing on the bingo or poker side of the website.
As a result, it does make some sort of sense for betting sites to be all-encompassing in their approach to the self-exclusion option. After all, if someone is unable to control themselves when it comes to betting on sports, the likelihood is that they’ll also struggle with discipline around other areas of their gambling experiences.
Even so, if you’re perfectly controlled around your casino use or can play bingo and walk away whenever you feel like it but struggle when it comes to betting on football, tennis or horse racing, it might feel a bit off that you’re not allowed to do anything if you struggle with your sports wager control.
Are Companies Being Naughty?
The obvious question to ask when it comes to the self-exclusion option around sports is why it is that companies don’t allow you to self-exclude from just that. It is difficult to escape the feeling that they might be being a bit naughty in not allowing you to self-exclude from sports whilst being allowed to take part in casino or other gaming options.
That is to say, companies know that a lot of people will look at the fact that they will lose access to the casino or other games options if they self-exclude from sports and decide that it is too much, therefore choosing not to self-exclude at all.
If even one person chooses not to self-exclude because they don’t want to lose access to the likes of the casino and poker rather than just the sports book, that is one person too many. For betting sites, though, that means that there is one more person who is likely to lose money to them, which is their long-term aim in order to remain profitable. The fact that that person also might struggle to remain disciplined when it comes to their sports betting will be seen as an advantage to the betting company, even if they won’t publicly admit as much, because that will increase their likely return.