If you are having trouble stopping gambling by yourself, there are many programs which help or allow you to ban yourself from gambling both in California and throughout the US.
Before reading this page, we respectfully request that you make sure you understand the differences amongst gambling establishments in California (i.e. “Native American Casinos,” “California Cardrooms” and so forth). Those differences are explained here.
Self-exclusion is a voluntary program which bans you from all gambling establishment(s) from which you sign up. Self-excluded patrons are prohibited from entering the premises of those establishments, and will not be paid any winnings if they violate the prohibition.
Self-exclusion typically ranges from 1 year to a permanent, lifetime ban, is irrevocable, and is offered in all California cardrooms and most Native American Casinos and other gambling establishments. You can view this Self Exclusion Program Brochure for more details.
Self-restriction is similar to self-exclusion, but is more specific: it allows the gambler to ban themselves from specific games (such as blackjack or poker) or casino services (such as check cashing, marker issuance or marketing).
Third Party Exclusion
If an immediate loved one (such as a spouse, parent or child) has a problem with gambling, you may be able to request “third-party exclusion” to ban the gambler you are requesting it for. Once/if approved, third party exclusions work in the same ways as self-exclusion.
As of 2015, only a few tribal casinos are offering third party exclusion, and the requirements to exclude someone in this way are usually very strict: you will probably need to show that the family is undergoing a severe financial hardship as a result of the gambler’s gambling.
Self-exclusion in California cardrooms is easy and can be done through the mail, without ever going to a cardroom. To participate in self-exclusion/restriction in California Cardrooms, you need to:
- Complete the appropriate form:
- Sign the form
- attach a current photo of yourself
- Have it notarized (you must mail it in immediately after it is notarized)*
- Mail to:
Department of Justice
Bureau of Gambling Control
PO Box 168024
Sacramento, CA 95816
Attn: Self-Exclusion Program
- Self- restriction:
- Each individual cardroom for which you would like to restrict play/services.
- Do not enter any gambling establishments!
- You can see additional forms of assistance here.
*Alternatively, you may take the form to a cardroom and have an employee witness you signing it. If you choose this option, the cardroom will submit the form to the Bureau of Gambling Control for you. CCPG does not recommend this option, as it requires you to enter a California cardroom.
California Tribal Casinos
Unfortunately, although most Native American casinos have self-exclusion and/or restriction programs, each casino’s rules are different. The reasons for this are explained here. We recommend you call the “gaming commission” or “security department” of the casino(s) you wish to ban/restrict yourself from for more information about their program(s).