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US set for first national self-exclusion scheme

| By Robert Fletcher
Players across the US will soon be able to self-exclude from gambling in all regulated states, with a new, nationwide scheme due to launch in the coming months.
US self-exclusion

The National Voluntary Self-Exclusion Programme (NVSEP) will go live in the US this summer, subject to regulatory and other necessary approvals. It will initially go live in New England before being expanded to other states in the following months.

The NVSEP will allow users to self-exclude irrespective of geographical location. In addition, the new scheme groups together current regulatory information and evolving public health resources from across the US. 

Dr Michelle Malkin, director of the Gambling Research and Policy Initiative (GRPI) at East Carolina University, welcomed the launch. Malkin said a national self-exclusion scheme is one of the most requested tools among players.

“Conducting research on voluntary-self exclusion has shown the process can be confusing for those seeking help,” Malkin said. “This is especially if they are looking to self-exclude across multiple jurisdictions. 

“Having an opportunity to engage with a tool using a single process across states will assist those using self-exclusion as a deterrent to gamble. It will help make self-exclusion easier to understand, which may increase engagement.”

Self-exclusion support from state regulators 

Safer gaming technology idPair is the company behind the new scheme. It is encouraging more state gaming regulators to engage in the initiative. 

Jonathan Aiwazian, CEO of idPair, said that states do not have to change the terms of their individual programmes to join NVSEP. This, he adds, solves a problem that has held back this development in player protection.

“The current state programmes will coexist with the new option, giving consumers the flexibility to exclude from as many or as few states and products as they choose, including both land-based and online gambling,” Aiwazian said.

“While current self-exclusion protections don’t travel, people do, and we look forward to working with more states to use technology to provide a more comprehensive level of protection for those who need it most.”

Wider efforts to support responsible gambling

The scheme is not the first nationwide scheme designed to help players across the US with their gambling.

In June 2022, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) opened up its helpline to users nationwide. The 1-800-GAMBLER federally registered service mark was only previously available in New Jersey.

This expansion was made possible after the NCPG reached an agreement with the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ).]

The six-year licence agreement means NCPG now uses 1-800-GAMBLER in all states outside of New Jersey. It all covers other US territories and the District of Columbia.

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