How Many US Sports Bettors Use Self-Exclusion Problem Gambling Tool?

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Pennsylvania sports betting regulators have crossed 20,000 requests to be self-excluded for potential problem gambling in the Keystone State.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board‘s self-exclusion list hit the milestone 17 years after it was created to help responsible gambling at casinos, racetracks, and eventually PA sports betting. More than 5% of those requests were re-enrollments, including 307 who chose a lifetime ban, the PGCB said.

Most states, however, do not separate sports betting requests into their own category.

Online PA sports betting and iGaming bans top 3,000

In 2019, Pennsylvania launched online sports betting and iGaming. Shortly after the PGCB added specific ban categories for online casino games, video slots and fantasy sports. The breakdown of individuals on those lists is as follows:

·         Online Gaming: 3,778

·         Video Gaming Terminals: 1,467

·         Fantasy Sports: 797

New Jersey reveals similar numbers

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement had 19,304 people exclude themselves from online gaming specifically, and another 2,099 exclude themselves from both online gaming and in-person wagering at casinos.

Roughly 45% of those requested a one-year exclusion from gaming, while 49% opted for a 5-year ban and 5% self-imposed lifetime bans.

New Jersey, like Pennsylvania, was one of the first states to launch online sports betting, which began in late 2018.

New markets tracking problem gambling self-bans

Maryland says roughly 80% of the 3,427 on its self-exclusion list are automatically excluded from sports betting at casinos or one of their partnered mobile apps (BetMGM, Caesars, FanDuel and Barstool). They may still bet with online sportsbooks untethered to a casino, per a spokesperson with Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Roughly 2.7% of the 3,427 on Maryland’s self-exclusion list have specifically requested to be banned from all types of sports betting. Maryland launched sports betting in late 2021. The option to exclude specifically from sports betting in Maryland became available in October 2022, just before mobile betting launched.

A spokesperson with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission said 7.5% of its 1,443 self-exclusions are specific to sports betting, which Massachusetts launched in January. The MGC has been particularly attentive to problem gambling and is currently weighing whether a Barstool promotion is misleading customers.

Most states lack sports-specific problem gambling data

Ohio, which ranks seventh in population, reported 7,650 names on its all-encompassing self-exclusion list. It launched sports betting just before Massachusetts and similarly has been among the more aggressive regulators on problem gambling compliance, handing out fines for marketing to underage viewers.

New York (fourth in state population) reported 3,447 active names on its self-exclusion database, per a spokesperson with the New York State Gaming Commission. The list goes back to 2017 and does not account for online sports betting, which it launched in 2022.

The NYSGC is weighing sports betting marketing bans for affiliate gaming companies and for state colleges.

Louisiana reported 2,453 on its self-exclusion list, which also does not have specific bans for different types of gaming. The 25th-largest state, Louisiana launched sports betting in 2021.