You Can Ban Yourself From Casinos, But Make Sure It’s Really What You Want

Gambling is legal in 48 states, with the exceptions being Hawaii and Utah. One of the problems facing the gambling industry is people who become compulsive gamblers, often plunging themselves into debt they will never get out of. That’s why many casinos today offer what’s called “self-exclusion” — banning themselves from casinos. The process isn’t a simple one. Those who wish to be cut off from gambling must go to the casino’s administrative offices, provide a copy of their driver’s license, have their picture taken, and sign a contract agreeing to be banned them from entering the casino. Most casinos offer bans of 1 year, 5 years, or for life. It seems like a simple solution, but that’s not the case. Unless a compulsive gambler goes to every casino in the country and goes through the same process, gambling is still available to them if they’re willing to travel. It has been suggested that a national database for self-banning be created that would require compulsive gamblers to go through the self-exclusion process once to be banned from all casinos across the country, but the idea hasn’t had much support from the casinos. One thing that anyone contemplating self-exclusion must consider is that once you ban yourself, it's a done deal. If you try to go back to the casino, you will be arrested for trespassing and could face a fine or even jail time. The best way to address compulsive gambling is to seek therapy to address the underlying problem.