Attorney General Jerry Browns Allows You to Ban Yourself from CA Card Rooms

Now, normally, this would be yet another edition of Jerry Brown Throws Down and I’d already be telling you just exactly what he can’t abide. But I don’t know, he’s not really throwing down on this one. 

Anyway, get all the deets of California’s official anti-gambling Self Exclusion Program below. It used to be run old school, but now the joint is going online – that’s the news of the day.

El Protector de los Jugadores, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk 

Brown Introduces State-of-the-Art Technology to Help California Gambling Addicts Help Themselves

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today unveiled an innovative, web-based computer program for all of California’s licensed cardrooms that is intended to help addicted gamblers break “their spiral of debt and addiction” by allowing them to voluntarily exclude themselves from gambling establishments.

“This system serves as a safety net for gambling addicts fighting to end their spiral of debt and addiction,” Brown said. “These are people who have chosen to help themselves, and we’ll assist them in keeping their pledges not to gamble.”

An estimated one million Californians suffer from problem or pathological gambling, and more than 1,000 of them have signed up for the Attorney General’s Self Exclusion Program, which allows problem gamblers to voluntarily exclude themselves from licensed cardrooms. So far, the program applies only to card rooms and not to the California lottery, tribal casinos or horse racing, but if the cardroom program is successful, it can be expanded.

To join the Self Exclusion Program, a problem gambler fills out a form, has it notarized, attaches a photograph and chooses to be excluded for one year, five years or his or her lifetime. The Self Exclusion form can be found at

Of the 1,009 gamblers voluntarily on the list, 285 are for one-year terms, 196 are on for five- years, and 528 signed up for lifetime terms. Options are offered because some patrons are trying to learn to gamble responsibly while others are pathological or compulsive gamblers.

All the deets, after the jump.

The program started in 2007 with a paper list of excluded gamblers mailed from the Attorney General’s office to cardrooms throughout the state. Starting this summer, the profiles and photographs of banned patrons are going live onto a database accessible to the 90 licensed cardrooms in the state.

Cardroom security, cashiers and surveillance personnel can run a patron’s name, driver’s license number or zip code in the database to see if he or she is banned from gambling.

If the profile and picture match, the banned patron is escorted out of the building, and any winnings are confiscated. All of the confiscated winnings are used for Problem Gambling Prevention training and treatment services including the production of self-help workbooks for problem gamblers (available in 18 languages); free gambling toolkits; a book that includes warning signs, causes and stages of problem gambling; and financial management tips.

The exclusion database also includes patrons who have been convicted of a felony or have violated gambling laws in any state.

The California Council on Problem Gambling has provided data on the 5,009 calls received on its crisis hotline (1-800-GAMBLER) in 2009:

– 78.5% of callers were gamblers, 7.5% were their spouses and 14% were others including family members, therapists or employers.
– The callers’ average personal debt was $29, 972.
– The average amount of money the callers spent gambling was $28,647.
– 53% of the callers said they financed their gambling with credit cards.
– 38% said their credit cards were maxed out.

The Attorney General’s website lists inpatient and outpatient treatment centers and accredited counselors specializing in addiction treatment. See

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Self-Exclusion Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Contact Program

Bureau of Gambling Control Exclusion Program P.O. Box 168024 Sacramento, CA 95816-8024 Phone: (916) 263-3408 Email:

In accordance with regulations, the Bureau administers a confidential list of Self-Excluded patrons. Self-Excluded patrons are banned from all licensed gambling establishments in the State of California. A licensed gambling establishment does not include Tribal Casino’s. Self-Excluded patrons are prohibited from collecting any winnings or recovering any losses for the term specified on their form, which can be 1 year, 5 years, or lifetime.

Please be advised that all Self-Exclusion terms are irrevocable.

What happens after the form is completed and processed? The Bureau will send a confirmation letter to the patron notifying them that their form has been accepted and that they have been added to the Self-Exclusion list. If a patron chooses the 1 or 5 year term, the Bureau will also notify the patron of the term expiration prior to the expiration date.

If an active Self-Exclusion patron enters a gambling establishment for any reason, the establishment is required to remove the patron from the premises and notify the Bureau of the incident. If a patron is playing in a gambling establishment, their winning or losses are confiscated and sent to the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Office of Problem Gambling.

The Bureau also notifies gambling establishments each time a patron is added to the Self-Exclusion list. The notification includes the patrons name, photo, date of birth, exclusion term, and any other personal descriptor information submitted on the Self-Exclusion form.

Also in accordance with regulations, Licensees are required to administer a Self-Restriction Program. Self-Restriction is an irrevocable, voluntary agreement to have restricted access to specific gambling establishments, or to the issuance of credit, check cashing, or marketing, from a particular licensed cardroom. The cardroom may voluntarily use the California Gambling Control Commission’s form or they may create their own. Self-Restriction periods are dictated by individual cardrooms and can vary from 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, or lifetime. All Self-Restriction forms are kept and maintained within individual cardrooms.

If you think that you or someone you know may have a gambling problem and do not want to self-exclude from gambling establishments, please go back to the Responsible Gambling page for other resources.

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One Response to “Attorney General Jerry Browns Allows You to Ban Yourself from CA Card Rooms”

  1. I am a recovering alcoholic, gambler, and other addiction problems. I published a book, Gripped by Gambling, where the readers can follow the destructive path of the compulsive gambler, a prison sentence, and then on to the recovery road. I am currently publishing a second book, Switching Addictions, that describes the challenges the addict encounters as they work toward recovery. I also publish an online newsletter, Women Helping Women, which has been on-line for more than ten years and is read by women around the world. I would like to suggest you add the link to the newsletter to your link page. (


    Marilyn Lancelot