The latest data provided by the Division of Gaming Enforcement has shown that, in the years since the state of New Jersey legalized online gambling, there was a massive, 1,400% increase in the number of people who have decided to voluntarily suspend themselves from gambling.
According to reports, in 2013, about 1,000 people decided to enter the self-exclusion program available in the state, with only 35 of these individuals excluding themselves from online gambling at the time. As of July 2022, more than 16,000 people were part of the self-exclusion program, with 88% of them banning themselves only from online gambling.
The self-exclusion scheme of the state of New Jersey allows people who find it hard to control their gambling habits to suspend themselves from both land-based and digital gambling services for a period of one or five years. People who opt for the casino self-exclusion list (the one involving retail gambling services) are automatically added to the online gambling self-exclusion scheme. However, the ones who opt to ban themselves from online gambling are not automatically added to the casino self-exclusion list.
New Jersey’s Self-Exclusion List is exempt from public release, but the local Division of Gaming Enforcement has revealed some general statistics on the number of gamblers who have decided to become part of the program since 2013.
Voluntary Inclusion in Online Services Self-Exclusion List Could Be Less Traumatizing
According to the information provided by the DGE, in the first full year of online gambling operation in New Jersey (2014), a total of 1,575 individuals were part of the self-exclusion list. A little more than 25% of them excluded themselves from online gambling only. By 2016, about 50% of the 2,700 on the list had banned themselves from online gambling only, and after two more years, two-thirds of the 3,000 individuals were on the online gambling self-exclusion list only.
The biggest increase in the number of people opting for the self-exclusion list on a year-on-year basis was registered from 2020 to 2021, with the number of participants in the scheme going up from 8,600 to 13,000. A total of 11,000 New Jersey residents on last year’s self-exclusion list only banned themselves from online gambling services.
According to experts, adding oneself to the online gambling-only self-exclusion list requires much fewer efforts and could be less stigmatizing for the individual than the inclusion on the “casino” self-exclusion list. For the time being, a person could ban themselves from online gambling services through the official website of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. However, people who seek to exclude themselves from retail gambling or want to include themselves on either list are required to file their application in person in one of the four offices of the state’s Racing Commission. Applications cannot be submitted by mail.
Under the rules of the DGE, all online gambling platforms are required to include a special “responsible gaming” button on their websites, which takes customers to a page where they can check and set the different limit options for deposits, losses, time and cool-off periods, or access the self-exclusion program available in the state.