Tweak to New York Voluntary Self-Exclusion Connects Gamblers in Crisis Directly to Help

A new voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) support program launched by the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) as part of the state’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) will connect gamblers in crisis directly to available support.

The NYCPG is a neutral body dedicated to increasing problem and compulsive gambling awareness. It also advocates for support and treatment for persons adversely affected by gambling harm. NYCPG launched the new, free program to help those with gambling problems find the resources necessary to keep them from gambling harm.

Now, when a New Yorker seeks to self-exclude at any licensed gaming facility, NYCPG staff will be on hand to help.

Specifically, support will include:

  • A plain-language explanation of self-exclusion
  • Connections to problem gambling treatment and counseling, peer support, and recovery services
  • Assistance with the completion and notarization of the necessary VSE forms.

In a release, NYCPG executive director James Maney said “providing care and concern” is at NYCPG’s core.

The launch of this new program exemplifies that care and concern by breaking down barriers. The new online notary services make it easier for individuals to complete remote VSE, while also connecting to one of our caring staff members who are knowledgeable about the process.

Program Boosts Self-Exclusion with Extra Supports

Typically, VSE allows individuals to ban themselves from gambling in-person, online, or both. When implemented, evidence has shown self-exclusion to be effective in reducing gambling harm.

By voluntarily excluding, the gambler bars themselves from gambling anywhere in the state.

But the new support program goes further, ensuring excluded gamblers have additional support.

According to the New York Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) 2020 Problem Gambling Prevalence Survey, 4.4% of NY adults are at risk of problem gambling. An additional 0.7% who exhibit gambling disorder could also benefit from the change.

OASAS commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said the office oversees “robust” prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services in New York—including for problem gambling.

Voluntary self-exclusion can be an effective prevention strategy to reduce gambling harms, and this new support program not only provides a way for people to complete the self-exclusion process but also offers an opportunity to connect to OASAS local problem gambling community support services to assist in mitigating further harm.

OASAS and the NYCPG—which it funds— are part of the RPP alongside the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC).

Robert Williams, NYSGC executive director, emphasized the commission’s commitment to problem gambling support.

The Gaming Commission is committed to ensuring that licensed facilities operate in responsible and sensitive matters for those who need help. The New York Council on Problem Gambling’s VSE Support Program provides those individuals with the knowledge and resources to make the best decisions for their welfare.

In its 10th year, the RPP brings together the stakeholders to address problem gambling and facilitate the relationship between New York’s facility operators and treatment providers.

Change Follows Player Protection Boosts in NJ, PA

The tweak to New York’s VSE program comes following the recent strengthening of player protections in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In July, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) launched a new online self-exclusion portal, making it easier to self-exclude from gambling anywhere in the state.

Likewise, this summer New Jersey introduced new tools to support people experiencing gambling problems, including a dedicated self-exclusion hotline. They also added a virtual option to make self-excluding from NJ online gambling easier for those at risk. However, self-exclusion from New Jersey casinos still requires an in-person meeting.

Additionally, in April, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced the creation of a Responsible Gaming Coordinator (RGC). The role,

In May, the AG appointed Deputy Attorney General Jamie McKelvey to the job, which will evaluate New Jersey’s responsible gaming initiatives and determine necessary adjustments.

Specifically, NJ’s RGC’s duties include:

  • Dedication to responsible gaming
  • Setting advertising standards for gaming operators
  • Easing access to self-exclusion

New York Problem Gambling Help

Those in New York seeking problem gambling help can call the 24/7 HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369). Alternatively, try texting HOPENY (46-7369) or visiting NYProblemGamblingHelp.org.

To access NYCPG’s new Voluntary Self-Exclusion Support Program, contact [email protected] or 518-903-0217.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
Back To Top

Get connected with us on Social Media