PGCB launches self-exclusion program for online gambling

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has announced the launch of a new voluntary program that allows individuals to exclude themselves from participating in new igaming activities for sports wagering and casino-like games.

PGCB said it modeled the igaming program from its already existing casino self-exclusion program, although the board made clear it is entirely separate scheme.

The igaming program will enable individuals to voluntarily choose 1-year, 5-year, or lifetime bans for on-line gambling activities – similar to the casino structure.

If a person was to include themselves on the list, all Commonwealth online gaming sites must refuse wagers and deny gaming privileges as well as any player club membership, complementary goods and services, and other similar privileges.

Furthermore, operators must ensure that person(s) on the igaming self-exclusion list do not receive solicitations, targeted mailings, telemarketing promotions, player club materials or other promotional materials relating to igaming activities.

Paul Buck, CEO of independent gambling-harm minimisation specialists EPIC Risk Management, told PaymentExpert: “Inevitably where there is online gambling there will be a small, but significant, percentage who lose control and become problem gamblers.

“If America doesn’t take this issue seriously from day 1 then the number of bankruptcies, relationship breakdowns, criminal convictions and suicides will rocket and in 12-18 months time it will be a much bigger issue to tackle.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, including sports wagering offered currently at eight locations. The oversight also includes other new gaming initiatives, expected to be launched in the coming months.