NY Improves Voluntary Self-Exclusion Process To Help With Problem Gambling

Written By Grant Lucas on November 21, 2023
one red tile separate from group of blue tiles with new york responsible play partnership logo for story on improved voluntary self-exclusion program in NY

Regulators in New York are strengthening the state’s approach to responsible gambling but improving the voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) process at gaming facilities throughout the Empire State.

The state’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) includes contributions from:

  • New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG)
  • New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)
  • New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC)

Together, according to a press release, the partnership launched a VSE Support Program to “help individuals who recognize they may have a gambling problem quickly find the resources they need to exclude themselves from gambling activities in New York State.”

New self-exclusion program ‘an effective tool’ to help with problem gambling

As detailed in the announcement VSE allows gamblers to essentially ban themselves from gambling activities in New York, whether it be at brick-and-mortar casinos, NY sportsbooks or, when legalized, NY online casinos.

The program presents as “an effective tool” to reduce harm caused by problem gambling. Once excluded, individuals are prohibited from entering any gaming facility or participating in any gambling activity in New York.

Those seeking more information can contact the NYCPG’s Voluntary Self Exclusion Support Program at [email protected] or 518-903-0217. In addition, NYCPG staff can help explain the self-exclusion process, help with VSE forms and connect you to a problem gambling treatment provider while also providing information for counseling, peer support ando ther recovery services.

“Assisting those in need of help through providing care and concern is at the core of what NYCPG does,” James Maney, executive director of the NYCPG, said in a release, “and 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.”

Officials continue to help promote responsible gambling in NY

A 2020 Problem Gambling Prevalence Survey from OASAS indicated that 4.4% of adults in NY are at risk for developing a gambling problem. What’s more, 0.7% meet the criteria for a gambling disorder or problem gambling.

OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said, “OASAS oversees a robust system of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery services for those affected by addiction across the state, including problem gambling,” Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, commissioner of OASAS, said in a statement.

“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.”

Officials birthed the RPP a decade ago in an attempt to better address problem gambling. One step was to bridge the gap between gaming operators and problem gambling treatment providers. The RPP ensures that gaming facilities in the state comply with state regulations while also promoting and providing access to help for individuals who may need it.

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said, “The Gaming Commission is committed to ensuring that licensed facilities operate in responsible and sensitive matters for those who need help,” NYSGC Executive Director Robert Williams said. “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.”

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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