The following guide provides a summary of Pennsylvania Casino Self-Exclusion regulations that are mandated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and Office of Compulsive & Problem Gambling (OCPG). It is designed to be a helpful resource for those who desire to become more informed about compliance with existing PA gambling laws concerning voluntary customer self-exclusion from services offered by main slot machine license Certificate Holders in the Keystone State.
This overview relates primarily to licensed brick & mortar gambling establishments, and may not directly apply to licensed online gambling products in which separate, proprietary self-exclusion mechanisms are available to customers.
Please note that the summary below only deals with “self-exclusion” rules, and does not cover “Persons Required to Be Excluded” laws, which are addressed separately by the PGCB.
The page and section numbers referenced in green font are taken directly from the official Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Final Regulations document (Pages #384-391).
Pennsylvania Casino Self-Exclusion Guidelines
Q: Which land-based gaming activities can Pennsylvania casino customers request voluntary self-exclusion from?
A: An individual who requests to be on the PGCB Pennsylvania Casino Self-Exclusion List is prohibited from entering the “gaming floor” of a licensed facility and will also be blocked from areas away from the gaming floor “where gaming activity is conducted.”
The individual will also be barred from engaging in any gaming activity within a licensed facility, while at the same time being prohibited from collecting any winnings derived from gaming at a licensed gambling establishment upon being self-excluded. (Pages 384-385: § 503a.1 [i][ii][iii])
Q: What is the process that an individual must complete in order to request Pennsylvania casino self-exclusion?
A: Pennsylvania land-based casino customers who wish to self-exclude themselves from gaming activities at licensed casinos must appear in-person before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and complete a Request for Voluntary Self-exclusion from Gaming Activities form. (Page 385: § 503a.2 [a])
The individual must provide the following information to the Board: (Page 385: § 503a.2 [b])
- Full name along with any aliases or nicknames
- Date of birth
- Current address
- Current telephone number
- Social Security Number (when provided voluntarily)
- Identifying physical traits such as height, weight, hair color, and gender
- A valid, government-issued photo identification that contains the person’s signature
- Grant permission to the Board to take a photograph of the individual
- Information must be updated via a Change of Information Form (when applicable) *
* The Change of Information Form can be obtained by contacting the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling directly at (717) 346-8300 or by mailing P.O. BOX 69060 — HARRISBURG, PA 17106-9060.
Q: Do Pennsylvania Casino customers have an option as to what length they may request self-exclusion from licensed gaming areas/products/services?
A: Yes. Customers may request self-exclusion for a period of: (a) 1 Year, (b) 5 Years, or (c) Lifetime. (Page 385: § 503a. [d])
Q: Are Pennsylvania casino patrons required to sign a release before requesting to be placed on the state’s Self-Exclusion List?
A: Yes. The signed release includes the following: (Page 386: § 503a.2 [e])
- Acknowledgement that the Self-Exclusion request has been made voluntarily
- Personal certification that the information provided to the Board is accurate
- Acknowledgement that the individual is a “problem gambler”
- Acknowledgement that any “lifetime” self-excluded individual will be prohibited from requesting removal from the List in perpetuity
- Acknowledgement that “1 Year” and “5 Year” self-excluded individuals are required to remain on the List for the time period specified
- Acknowledgement that if a self-excluded individual is found on the gaming floor of a licensed casino, that the person is subject to arrest under “Criminal Trespass” laws, and that any winnings gained as a consequence will become forfeit
- Forfeiture of all potential liability claims against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the PGCB, and/or slot machine licensees for “damages, losses, expenses or liability arising out of:” (a) failure of the licensee to block a self-excluded individual from gaining access to the gaming floor, (b) either permitting or blocking a self-excluded individual from engaging in gaming activity, and (c) confiscation of a self-excluded individual’s winnings.
Q: Are Pennsylvania casino self-exclusion restrictions automatically removed once the 1 Year or 5 Year time periods have expired?
A: No. An individual who wishes to be officially removed from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board self-exclusion list — once the stipulated time period has ended — must contact the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling by telephone at (717) 346-8300 to request and confirm an appointment.
Upon arriving in-person to said appointment with the Pennsylvania OCPG, the individual must have completed a Request for Removal from Voluntary Self-Exclusion Form, which must include the following information: (Page 390: § 503a.5)
- Identifying information that correlates to what was provided in the original voluntary self-exclusion request
- A signed acknowledgement by the individual who agrees to the following statement:
- A valid, government-issued identification that contains the individual’s signature and photograph
“I certify that the information that I have provided above is true and accurate. I am aware that my signature below constitutes a revocation of my previous request for self-exclusion, and I authorize the Board to permit all slot machine licensees of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to reinstate my gaming privileges at licensed facilities.”
Q: How long does the request for removal from the self-exclusion list process take (once the time frame has expired)?
A: The patron’s name will be officially deleted from the Pennsylvania Casino Self-Exclusion list following 15 business days after the Board has accepted the individual’s formal petition for removal.
Q: Are the identities of individuals on the Pennsylvania Casino Self-Exclusion list protected from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from media or the general public, similar to Michigan House Bills 4926-4928?
A: This is not specified by existing PA casino self-exclusion laws. However, individuals on the voluntary self-exclusion list are afforded certain privacy measures by the PGCB. This includes language that stipulates that the Board “will not disclose identifying information or confirm or deny the existence of an individual’s name on the Board’s voluntary self-exclusion list.” ** (Page 391: 503a.7 [c])
** Please be aware that this privacy consideration does not apply to individuals who are placed on the state’s “involuntary” casino exclusion list, which mandates that the personal data of required to be excluded individuals be “open to public inspection at the Board’s central office during normal business hours.” (Page 393: § 511a.2 [b])
Q: Are there any exceptions that would permit a self-excluded individual access to a slot machine licensee gaming area?
A: Yes. In such a circumstance, said individual would be required to meet all of the following criteria: (Page 391: § 503a.6 )
- “Carrying out the duties of employment or incidental activities related to employment”
- Prior notice has been given to the proper authorities
- Access to otherwise restricted areas are “limited to the time necessary to complete the individual’s assigned duties”
- “The individual does not otherwise engage in any gaming activities”
Q: Does the PGCB offer any free online literature to consumers to raise awareness of, and/or limit, problem gambling activities?
A: Yes. Please consult this official PGCB Self-Exclusion Brochure.
Q: Do these guidelines for self-exclusion from Pennsylvania slot machine licensee services also cover sanctioned Pennsylvania lottery products?
A: No. Self-exclusion from Pennsylvania land-based or iLottery products is a separate process that is published on the PA iLottery Responsible Gaming official webpage.
ADDITIONAL MATERIAL: PGCB Self Exclusion Program FAQs
PENNSYLVANIA PROBLEM GAMBLING EMAIL: email@example.com
SOCIAL MEDIA CONSIDERATION (TWITTER): @PAGamingControl
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This article is funded directly by Part Time Poker as an “introductory orientation service” to consumer, media and license holder interests. It should NOT be considered as legally binding, interpreted as legal advice, or otherwise serve as a substitution for official regulations/laws that are published by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
GAMBLING PROBLEM? PLEASE CALL (877) 565-2112 (Pennsylvania Gambling Helpline).
Read More Gambling Regulation Guides from Part Time Poker
Pennsylvania Compulsive and Problem Gambling Regulatory Guide (Jun 9, 2018)
Pennsylvania Category 4 Casino FAQs (Mar 12, 2018)
Pennsylvania Category 2 Casinos License Renewal Process (May 31, 2018)
Michigan Regulated iGaming Study Guide (Feb 6, 2018)
New York Online Poker Bill FAQs (S 3898/A 5250) (Apr 10, 2018)
Lee-Ann Johstone Interview: UK Gambling & Advertising Regulations (May 6, 2018)
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @dhubermex, @PartTimePoker, @benefactumgames, @abarber1, @gonzo787