By definition, gambling is supposed to be about entertainment and should never be seen as a means of generating income, chasing losses, or turning a profit. Unfortunately, some gamblers may discover that it becomes harder to manage their gambling behaviors responsibly after they’ve been playing casino games or placing cash wagers with an iGaming site or sportsbook platform for a certain amount of time. In recent years, rapid growth in the iGaming industry has brought with it a reportedly higher rate of problematic gambling, which has led to the potentially negative and dangerous effects becoming more tangible and visible. As a result, we’ve seen the widespread rollout of self-exclusion systems worldwide, wherein online and offline gamblers can remove themselves from ‘the danger zone’ and temporarily cease betting altogether. But what exactly are self-exclusion systems, how do they work, and how can gamblers use them to reduce risk and stay safe?
What are Self-Exclusion Systems?
Self-Exclusion programs are tools designed to encourage safe and responsible gambling amongst potentially problematic gamblers. They work by removing access to gambling sites, which means that players can’t place any real money bets once they’re signed up. Once a player has voluntarily ‘opted in’ to a self-exclusion program, they have essentially entered into a formal agreement that they will no longer participate in any gambling activities. This means they will not be permitted to sign up, register, play games, make deposits and withdrawals, or place bets with a single betting platform or a group of platforms – the latter falls under the ‘multi-operator self-exclusion’ category. Although the terms of these programs may differ between providers, most self-exclusion systems are generally active for a specific length of time, as agreed by both parties. This could be anything from 6 months up to 5 years, with any gambling not being permitted until the period has expired. Although they have proven effective thus far, it’s worth noting that self-exclusion systems generally place the responsibility of sticking to the agreement on the players themselves. If you opt into a program, it will primarily be your responsibility to honor the agreement.
The Main Benefits of Self-Exclusion Programs
The growth of AI technology and big data has enabled operators to identify risky gambling behaviors better and develop effective self-exclusion systems, which are thought to reduce the social, ethical, and financial harms typically associated with problem gambling. As well as reducing the inherent risk and harm associated with problematic gambling, it’s thought that exclusion from both online and offline gambling activities can enhance client protection considerably, breaking down the habit-forming, cyclical behaviors that can lead to loss at the casino and beyond. From the perspective of individual players, self-exclusion programs can undeniably positively impact mental health, relationships, personal finances, and quality of life. By taking some time out from gambling, players may be able to break habits before they form and develop a more meaningful sense of self-awareness when it comes to their gambling behaviors.
The Implementation of Self-Exclusion Programs
It’s not just individual players who can benefit from self-exclusion systems. These programs also hold untold beneficial potential for casino and sportsbook operators and the wider gambling industry. In recent years, we’ve seen more of the best online casino operators introduce reputable self-exclusion programs such as GAMSTOP, GamCare, and SENSE. In the vast majority of markets and jurisdictions across the globe, operators are now legally obliged to promote responsible gambling by providing access to recognized self-exclusion programs. This means that if a casino operator fails to provide adequate measures to protect their players, they could face hefty fines, have their license revoked, or even be prosecuted in court. As such, reputable gambling operators must offer their members the option to enter into a self-exclusion program – this could affect their overall reputation and licensing status and their ultimate bottom line. After all, happy, safe, and protected gamblers are likelier to place repeat wagers without succumbing to the potentially disruptive and damaging effects of problematic wagering.
Stay Safe Online and Find Reputable Casino Sites
Because the implementation of self-exclusion programs is now mandatory, it’s easier than ever for players to find safe and reputable gaming platforms that they know they can trust. One of the easiest ways to stay safe when gambling online is by choosing a reliable operator that’s properly licensed and regulated by the appropriate body. As a general rule, if a gaming site accommodates self-exclusion, it’s more likely to feature fair games, lower wagering requirements, and lower withdrawal fees – you’re more likely to lose out financially in the long run if you choose to play with unscrupulous operators. With this in mind, let’s run through some of the most popular online casino platforms that currently provide access to self-exclusion programs in Canada and beyond:
Quatro Casino Canada
Quatro Casino Canada is a popular and reputable online casino that was first launched in 2008. The platform has found favor amongst players in various countries, including the Great White North, New Zealand, Greece, and Denmark. While you can learn more about the pros and cons of Quatro Casino, it’s worth noting that the site has become particularly well known for its impressive game selection, generous bonuses and fast withdrawal times.
Jackpot City Casino
First established in 1998, Jackpot City Casino is one of the best-respected online casinos on the market. The site is home to a vast array of more than 500 casino games from leading providers such as Playtech, NetEnt, and Microgaming – this includes a varied selection of slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker titles. This reputable gaming site is eCOGRA-certified and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Spin Casino is another reputable mainstay of the online casino industry, having first launched in 1999. The Spin Casino site accommodates an impressive selection of more than 550 casino games provided by Microgaming, including slots, baccarat, blackjack, and live casino game options. The platform has been verified as fair by eCOGRA and is licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
Launched in 2017, PlayOJO is the newest online casino on our list. Despite being relatively new, PlayOJO has already garnered many players and fans worldwide due to its unbeatable range of slot machines and progressive jackpot games. It hosts top content from leading providers such as Play’n GO, NetEnt, and NextGen Gaming. The Swedish Gaming Authority licenses it, the Malta Gaming Authority, and the AGCO in Ontario.
The Future of Casino Self-Exclusion Systems
While the presence of self-exclusion programs has been proven to capitalize on the inherent psychology of gambling and reduce problematic wagering in the process, self-exclusion systems are still in their relative infancy. This means that there are still some issues related to their efficacy, especially when it comes to online gambling, where some players may simply decide to sign up with a parallel platform to break single self-exclusion agreements. As technology and understanding progresses, these kinds of programs will likely become more efficient in the coming years. Remember to stay safe when gambling, and don’t be afraid to take a long break if you feel that you’re losing control of your time and budget – never gamble beyond your means.