NJ extends gambling self-exclusion list to online betting

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - November 11, 2013

The action comes with Internet gambling set to begin in just over two weeks, and some advocates worry about a spike in compulsive gambling.

New Jersey, like many other states, allows people who feel they have a gambling problem to place their names on a list of those who are not allowed to enter any of Atlantic City's 12 casinos.

The state Gaming Enforcement Division is automatically extending the list to cover Internet gambling, as well. People already on the exclusion list for casinos do not have to do anything to be included in the online self-exclusion list.

But people can also sign up for an online-only ban.

"Expanding the division's self-exclusion program to include Internet gaming and making the application process available to the public prior to Internet gaming's go-live date of November 26, 2013, represents a commitment I made following the signing of the Internet gaming bill," said David Rebuck, the gaming enforcement division's director. "The division is committed to promoting responsible gaming not only in Atlantic City's casinos, but also on the Internet."

People can ban themselves for one-year or five-year terms. During that time, they are not permitted to enter casinos, or, in the case of online betting, engage in Internet gambling. If they sneak into a casino and win, their winnings are subject to forfeiture.

People can sign up in person at various offices located across the state, including the division's offices in Atlantic City or Trenton, and the offices of the New Jersey Racing Commission in Trenton, East Rutherford, Oceanport and Freehold. They can also sign up online.

Arnie Wexler, former head of New Jersey's Council on Compulsive Gambling, is among those concerned about a potential spike in problems gamblers once it becomes easier to access using the Internet instead of requiring a trip to Atlantic City.

"Compulsive gambling is an impulsive addiction, and the addicted gambler can't resist the urge to gamble and chase losses or wins," he said.

Donald Weinbaum, the council's current executive director, said the extension of the self-exclusion list to Internet gambling is necessary to help those with gambling problems.

"For persons experiencing problems as a result of their gambling, self-exclusion can be a very useful tool," he said.

Anyone signing up for the self-exclusion program can get a free consultation with a compulsive gambling counselor by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, or using the www.800gambler.org web site.

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