Should US Betting Sites Have a Self-exclusion Feature?
As more and more US-based betting sites continue to launch, the subject of responsible gambling in America is becoming a priority topic.
One of the many reservations amongst authorities is the risks involved in legalizing gambling, one of which is an increase in the number of gambling addictions being formed. For this reason, many politicians and US charities are eager to learn what measures companies such as WIlliam Hill US, DraftKings, BetOnline and My Bookie are taking to safeguard their users who are betting via them.
Many calls are being made for the US to follow in the footsteps of the UK, allowing customers to ‘self-exclude’. Today, we take a look at what Self Exclusion actually is and whether or not this is something the US betting market should adopt and integrate into online gambling policies.
An introduction to self-exclusion
Self-Exclusion is, as its name suggests, the process of excluding yourself from a betting site and its products, effectively disassociating yourself with a betting provider. There are many reasons people decide to do this over in the UK. However, 78% of people go down this route because they have formed an addiction with gambling and want to remove the temptation. Others may be spending too much money or time on betting and again want to remove the ability to bet from themselves.
In the UK, online bettors can exclude themselves from the site they are playing on that very site. The process can usually be started by selecting the ‘responsible gambling’ tab which 97% of UK gambling sites now have. Where some gambling sites will request you send in an email or ask for exclusion via a Live Chat facility, for some of the bigger, more tech-savvy providers, the click of a button will automate the whole process.
Though cutting yourself off from one bookmaker will limit your risks betting with them, opening up another account and spending your dollars takes no effort and can be done in just a matter of seconds. This is why many US gambling authorities are looking to replicate the setup used in the UK.
What if you want to exclude yourself from online gambling all together?
After many calls from gambling charities and organizations, the ability to self-exclude from multiple gambling sites at once was introduced. This is being led by a company called GAMSTOP in the UK. This is an independent firm looking to stamp out problem gambling, working in coalition with a network of other mission-led charities.
“If you want to self-exclude from online gambling then you can visit GAMSTOP (www.gamstop.co.uk) which is currently available as a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to UK and NI residents. It does not yet cover all gambling websites. A list of participating online gambling companies is available here and this is continually updated as more companies join the scheme” it explains.
How many people self-exclude in the UK?
According to a recent survey conducted by the Gambling Commission, around 40,000 excluded themselves from gambling sites in 2018. And, when thinking of just how big America is in comparison to the UK, can we really afford to not offer the option to self-exclusion?
Gambling addiction in the US
The National Council on Problem Gambling recently revealed that there are between 4 to 6 million people classed as ‘problem gamblers’. But, with many states legalising forms of online gambling, it is driving interest and concern among policymakers and treatment professionals. with many believing that we are set to see a spike in the number of problem gamblers in the country.
Other ways US betting sites can encourage responsible gambling
While self-exclusion is thought to be one of the best measures to combat problem gambling, there are many other tools, techniques and technologies new US betting sites should be looking to promote. These include offering a ‘time-out’ facility whereby bettors can restrict themselves from betting for a predetermined amount of time. Another is having a 24/7 Live Chat facility integrated into the site, giving members access to help and support around the clock.
Are the UK a good example to follow?
When building responsible gambling policies for the US, the UK are a great example to follow. This is because much of the industry is now self-regulated, with big gambling brands understanding the importance to conduct themselves in an ethical manner. This is however the result of many years of campaigning, with companies and campaigns such as GAMSTOP, Gamble Aware, Bet Regret and Gamcare working tirelessly to protect the consumer.
Just last month, the UK launched Betaid.org; an online platform where UK gamblers can access ALL the support out there on one easy to use website. From useful guides to helplines, Betaid.org is just one example of the great things the UK are doing to combat unhealthy gambling relationships.
Responsible US betting sites
If you are on the lookout for great online betting sites that understand the need to be ethical, you are in the right place. This is because at Freebets.Us, we ensure we are giving our users access to the very best sites offering the very best free bets