Although California still hasn’t legalized real-money online casinos, there are plenty of options available for anyone who wants to play casino games online or in person.
From sweepstakes casinos and daily fantasy sports to tribal casinos at world-class resorts, California has something fun for everyone.
But for some people, casino games can stop being fun and start to become a lifestyle or a coping mechanism for other personal issues, which can lead to problematic behavior.
If you’re concerned about your gaming or gambling habits, keep reading to learn how you can voluntarily ban yourself from casinos and betting facilities in California, and start reclaiming control of your time and money.
Below, we’ll go over what self-exclusion is, how it works, and where to find help in the Golden State.
What Is Self-Exclusion At A Casino?
Some people can develop compulsive gaming habits whether they’re playing for Gold Coins at an online sweepstakes casino or betting real money at tribal casinos and card rooms.
This is why responsible gambling and gaming tools are so crucial.
Self-exclusion allows individuals to voluntarily ban themselves from either online or physical casinos for a predetermined period or forever to help them curtail their gaming or gambling issues.
Once your name is on a self-exclusion list, casinos won’t be able to contact you, send you any promotional material, or offer you gifts.
You will also be effectively banned from playing any games or placing any bets anywhere in the state of California.
Self-exclusion is a serious step to take and can be very helpful for people struggling with an addiction or problematic behavior.
Some signs that someone might be developing a gaming problem or addiction are:
Neglecting other activities or responsibilities for gaming or gambling.
Spending more money than they can afford to lose, leading to financial issues.
Gaming is leading to conflicts in their relationships.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of worrying behavior, it might be time to reassess these habits and seek help.
Responsible Gambling Steps To Take Before Self-Exclusion
Self-exclusion shouldn’t be taken lightly and is usually the last resort for people who feel that they can’t play or gamble responsibly without external help.
If you want to regain control over your gaming habits but don’t want to ban yourself entirely from casinos and betting sites, there are a few other steps you can take first.
Responsible Gaming At Online Sweepstakes Casinos
If you want to spend less time or money at an online sweepstakes casino, you can set limits for yourself directly through their website or app.
Although sweepstakes casinos can be used for free and real money can’t be wagered, many players choose to purchase packs of virtual tokens commonly known as Gold Coins.
These Gold Coin bundles can add up if you’re not careful.
This is why most online sweepstakes casinos give users the option to either limit the amount of money they can spend on coin packages or to fully restrict their accounts for a specific period.
Players can generally choose to restrict their accounts for as little as 24 hours and up to 3 months, depending on each casino’s regulations.
For periods longer than 3 months, most casinos require users to choose the self-exclusion option.
Please check your user account for information on how to request a temporary ban or set spending limits.
Responsible Gambling At Card Rooms
The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) has a self-restriction form on its website that you can mail in to restrict yourself from specific gambling-related activities.
You can request to be restricted from any or all of the following:
Receiving any promotional or marketing material from gaming and gambling providers.
Participating in specific games or gaming activities.
Cashing in checks or taking out credits over a specified amount of money.
Responsible Gambling At Tribal Casinos
It can be harder to restrict your access to California’s tribal casinos than online casinos or card rooms without opting for self-exclusion.
As each tribal casino has its own rules and regulations, you should contact them directly to learn more about the available tools to help patrons play responsibly.
Who Controls The California Self-Exclusion List
There isn’t a single self-exclusion list in California, and different casinos have different rules and regulations for responsible gaming in California.
Let’s go over the three main types of gaming providers that offer self-exclusion and who oversees them.
The state regulates card rooms, which must comply with the self-exclusion list controlled by the CGCC and the Bureau of Gambling Control (BGC).
Tribal casinos in California are not legally regulated by the same state laws as card rooms and don’t have to comply with the same responsible gambling rules, though many of them do.
To exclude yourself from a specific tribal casino, you will need to register with the casino’s specific regulatory agency commonly known as a Tribal Gaming Commission.
Online Sweepstakes Casinos
To ban yourself from an online sweepstakes casino, you will need to find the self-exclusion option directly through your user account as they’re not part of the state’s list.
How To Ban Yourself From Gambling In California
Banning yourself from different types of casinos in California can be complicated because there are different rules and requirements, but it is possible.
Here’s how you can do it.
To put your name on the statewide self-exclusion list and be banned from all card rooms in California, you will need to print out a request form found on the CGCC website.
You must fill out your personal information, a physical description of yourself, and include a recent photograph. You can then mail the form to the BGC.
This information is necessary to ensure the self-exclusion ban is a voluntary action.
The physical description and photograph are so that staff at card rooms can recognize anyone on the self-exclusion list who tries to enter a gambling facility during their ban.
You can choose to be banned for one year or life.
Keep in mind that attempting to enter a card room while you’re on the self-exclusion list can lead to you being removed from the premises and possibly cited for trespassing.
With at least 67 individual Tribal Gaming Commissions in the state, self-exclusion from all tribal casinos isn’t straightforward in California, but it is possible.
Each casino will have its processes for individuals to enroll in self-exclusion, so please check their website or contact their regulatory Tribal Gaming Commission directly to learn more.
Online Sweepstakes Casinos
Banning yourself from an online sweepstakes casino is relatively easy as it can be done directly through the casino’s website or by contacting their customer service team.
Most online casinos will give users the option to take a short break or to ban themselves entirely for a predetermined period.
These restrictions can be extended but usually cannot be undone before the selected time expires.
If you choose self-exclusion, most casinos will restrict your account for at least six months from the day the ban begins and until you request for your access to be reinstated.
Each sweepstakes casino has different rules for self-exclusion, so please check with each one to learn more about what the voluntary ban entails and how to activate it.
How To Remove Yourself From The Self-Exclusion List In California
Just as each type of casino or gaming facility has its process and rules for self-exclusion, they have different requirements for individuals who wish to be removed from these lists.
Let’s go over them below.
If you signed up for the statewide self-exclusion list, you can mail in another form also found on the CGCC website to request removal.
Year-long bans can be extended but cannot be revoked; you must wait 12 months for the ban to expire.
You can request to be removed from the list if you chose a lifelong ban but only after at least 1 year has passed since your application was approved.
Tribal casinos that offer self-exclusion will have similar terms for requesting removal as the statewide program.
But it will be up to their discretion whether or not to reinstate someone’s right to use their facilities.
Some tribal casinos will not revoke a voluntary lifetime ban even at the signatory’s request.
Before you voluntarily ban yourself from a tribal casino, please make sure you understand the rules and consequences of doing so.
Online Sweepstakes Casinos
To regain access to your restricted online casino account, you will usually have to wait for the specified period of the ban to conclude.
Online casinos will not necessarily reinstate your account privileges automatically, though that will depend on their policies and what kind of restrictions you chose previously.
You will likely need to request your voluntary ban or restrictions to be removed by contacting their customer service team.
Who To Contact In California If You Have A Gambling Problem
If you or someone you know is having problems with gambling or online gaming, there are multiple resources and tools available in California to get help.
The Office of Problem Gambling website is a good place to start, as it has links and phone numbers for free 24/7 helplines and chats to connect individuals with professionals who can help them navigate problematic behavior relating to gaming and gambling.
The California Council on Problem Gambling is another great resource for finding support and treatment, including free inpatient programs.
Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program designed to help problem gamblers with their compulsive behavior.
Gam-Anon is geared towards helping friends and family of those struggling with gambling addictions.