Complete guide to self-exclusion

How to self-exclude from an online casino?

12 min

Our experts created a comprehensive self-exclusion guide, one of the essential responsible gambling tools that all platforms should employ. Whether you have a gambling problem or just wish to discover more about this preventative measure, you will find all the necessary information here!

What is casino self-exclusion?

What is casino self-exclusion

It is the process that restrains players from accessing and using the services of an online casino. The term describes a policy imposed by betting sites as a way of addressing the problem of gambling.

How does it help players?

Self-exclusion or voluntary exclusion is a responsible tool to help players avoid addiction or take their first steps towards treating it. Essentially, it prevents users from gambling for a certain period.

Unlike other tools like time-outs or cool-off periods, which usually provide ‘gambling breaks’, self-exclusion is more complex. The minimum exclusion period you can set is 6 months, and it can elongate for up to 5 years.


It is up to you to choose a suitable self-exclusion timeframe. But remember that once activated, you cannot alter or cancel it under any circumstances. So, take your time to analyse your options, then decide what timeframe would be best for you.

Is it efficient?

Depending on the complexity of your gambling issues, this tool might either contribute partially or entirely to eradicating the problem.

For example, suppose you just started to notice alterations in your playing patterns and take this measure in time. In that case, it can bring a substantial contribution.

Yet, suppose the issue has already turned into an addiction. In that case, you might also need to consider alternative solutions to stop gambling addiction, such as seeking professional help or contacting a specialised gambling addiction institution.

How to self-exclude from gambling websites

How to self-exclude from gambling websites

These are the available types of self-exclusion:

  1. From all online gambling platforms
  2. From a particular gambling website

On all NZ gambling platforms

To restrict yourself completely from online gambling, the most efficient method to be considered is joining a self-exclusion scheme developed by external software, programme or mobile app.

These self-help tools will usually restrain access to a wide range of online gambling platforms:

The organisation is one of the many responsible gambling institutions available in New Zealand, which provides free support services. Moreover, the players’ identities can remain anonymous. Although it is based in the UK, all NZ gamblers can still benefit from its services. Their services are operational 24/7.

GamCare is a UK-based institution that provides multiple resources and tools on how to stop gambling addiction. Generally, it covers most casinos operated by the UKGC. Given that there are NZ casinos licensed by the same regulatory body, players who feel like gaming is negatively affecting their lives can reach out to this organisation.

  • Taking action

Here’s what you need to do to utilise the services of self-exclusion software:

  • Read the scheme’s terms and conditions carefully

It is crucial to fully understand what you are signing up for. So, take your time to explore all the features and conditions that come along with your chosen program.

  • Download the software on your device (where necessary)

Apart from GamStop, which is an online service that can be accessed from a browser, you must install all other applications from an external source.

  • Provide your details

For effective results, it is best to offer as much information as possible.

For instance

You will be asked to supply your full name, date of birth, current address and postcode, phone number and email address.

Yet, we also recommend mentioning alternative email addresses or phone numbers that you are using or have used in the past.

  • Upload a photo of yourself (optional)

This step is not always mandatory, but we highly suggest doing so if you can upload a photo.

  • Choose a self-exclusion timeframe

Most schemes will allow you to choose any period between 6 months and 5 years. However, some of them might have predetermined limits.

For instance, they may only offer options like 6 months, 1 year, 3 years or 5 years.

  • Wait for the confirmation email

After successfully enrolling on the self-exclusion scheme, you should receive an email confirming that.

So, check your inbox regularly until you notice the confirmation. Once you receive it, the self-exclusion should come into effect immediately or within a maximum of 24 hours.

How do they work?

How do they work

Although each software is different and has its own working mechanism and regulations, their operating systems follow similar patterns:

  1. Once submitted, all your personal details are entered in a virtual database.
  2. The software uses an advanced system to ban access to all gambling platforms registered with it (it uses similar technology to anti-virus programs that are detecting malicious websites).
  3. If you were previously registered with a gambling website, all communication forms linked to it would also be blocked.
  4. Should you somehow manage to access a betting site, the personal details you are trying to sign up with will be detected by the software, and registration will not be completed.
  5. You cannot terminate the scheme before the predetermined exclusion period comes to an end.
  6. When the exclusion period ends, the user will not be contacted or informed about this in any manner.

Keep in mind that these elements might differ according to your chosen software. Some may have different approaches, but the result is always the same.

On a particular gambling site

Moving on to an alternative with a narrower focus, we shall mention the self-exclusion from a specific betting platform. This feature is usually available on all websites licensed by the UKGC. However, this differs from one case to another.

What does it entail?

This type of exclusion is directly linked with the site you activate it on or sometimes with multiple casino brands owned by the same organisation.

For example, if you self-exclude from a site and its parent company operates several other platforms, the action may or may not apply to all of them. That depends entirely on the company.


Thus, we suggest carefully reading its responsible gaming policy or general terms to determine which one of these two situations is valid.

How to opt for the brand exclusion

If you wish to exclude yourself from a particular online casino, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Look for the self-exclusion feature (this will usually be located in the Responsible Gambling section).
  3. Read the terms and instructions presented there.
  4. Contact customer support and discuss with a team member.
  5. Provide your personal details/ answer the security questions.
  6. Choose an exclusion timeframe.
  7. Wait for confirmation.

Be aware

In most cases, you must contact the customer support department to activate self-exclusion.

However, some platforms will also dispose of a separate feature that you can activate, usually from the Responsible Gambling section. If such an option is available, you will only have to select your desired self-exclusion period and enter your account credentials.

What happens on the casino’s end

What happens on the casino’s end

Most gambling sites licensed by the UKGC have similar self-exclusion policies. Therefore, you should expect the following:

  • The casino will temporarily close your account.
  • You shall not be permitted to open another account on the site.
  • You will be removed from the marketing database and will not be contacted during the agreed exclusion period.
  • When the self-exclusion period expires, the casino won’t automatically add you back to the marketing database.
  • You cannot cancel the exclusion before the set timeframe expires.
  • The casino will pay out any remaining cash balance or winnings available in your account at the moment of your self-exclusion request.
What happens to your funds?

Once you decide to self-exclude from a website, you don’t have to worry about losing or forfeiting your funds.

If you have any pending wagers, they will be returned to the account balance. After that, the casino will try to remit your remaining balance to the last method used to withdraw.

Should the payment method no longer be available or in use, the support team will contact you to request the details of another financial account.

For example

Suppose the player cannot be reached for 30 days or however long the casino’s policy specifies. In that case, the funds will either be transferred to a regulatory body or a problem gambling organisation. This depends entirely on the platform’s terms and conditions.

What to bear in mind

  1. If a website doesn’t dispose of the live chat feature, all communication regarding self-exclusion should be carried out via other available contact means, such as email or phone.
  2. When your exclusion from a particular gambling site ends, the account won’t be automatically reactivated. To activate it yourself, you must get in touch with customer support.
  3. On some platforms, your request to self-exclude may take effect in up to 48 hours.

Can you cancel self-exclusion?

The action is irrevocable whether you choose to exclude yourself from gambling via external software or just on a particular platform. No matter the circumstances, you will not be able to cancel the option.

The only acceptable way to remove it is to wait until the end of the exclusion period, then renounce the service or reactivate your account.

In case you try to access online gambling facilities by using another person’s information or financial data, this is considered a criminal offence and will be further investigated by the New Zealand law enforcement services.

In this case, you will suffer the legal consequences of your actions, and you might also be permanently banned from joining the site you committed the fraud on.

The next steps for gambling help

The next steps for gambling help

Players from New Zealand who feel like they need to take even more action besides self-exclusion, should consider the following:

  • Blocking gambling adverts

Suppose you have a performant anti-virus system installed on your computer. In that case, this may also have an incorporated feature that blocks all Internet ads.

However, those who don’t dispose of such a program can still block gambling-related ads via other means.


You can personalise your ad preferences on Google by logging into your account and selecting the ‘Privacy and Personalisation’ option. You can also do this on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

  • Talking to an advisor

Once you decide to take action towards solving your betting problems, it is best to have a support system throughout your journey.

For example

You can either talk to a friend or family member about it or even seek professional guidance from a psychologist. In this way, you will benefit from external motivation, which will make it easier to stick to your objectives.

  • Contacting a responsible gambling institution

Should your gambling issues get out of hand, you must contact a special institution designed to tackle these problems. There are numerous gambling addiction prevention organisations in New Zealand, so do not hesitate to contact one or even several of them.

Self-exclusion vs account closure

Self-exclusion vs account closure

There are two types of account closure

  1. Voluntary – when you deliberately choose to close your account on a gambling site.
  2. Involuntary – when the online casino closes your account due to irregular play, violation of terms or fraudulent activities.

Self-exclusion vs voluntary account closure

Self-exclusion restricts access to your account for the period of time that you choose, while account closure may or may not be permanent.

The terms of voluntary account closure depend entirely on the casino you join.

For example:

On some websites, you can request to reopen your account by contacting customer support. Others may allow you to open another account with the same personal details after closing the previous one.

Therefore, if you want to be completely restricted from gambling on a particular site, you may want to consider self-exclusion over account closure.

How to close your account:

  1. Log in on the platform you have registered.
  2. Go to the account settings/responsible gambling section.
  3. Select ‘Account closure’.
  4. Follow the instructions listed there.
  5. Wait for confirmation.


If the casino you joined doesn’t have the option of closing the account by yourself, you should get in touch with customer support. Before proceeding with the request, operators might ask for your personal details or other security questions to make sure that the account belongs to you.

When to take action?

Before making any decision, you should reflect on your gambling behaviour and decide whether or not you have a gaming addiction. There are specific signs you should consider which are strongly connected with how your gaming activity affects your personal life.

Therefore, we recommend taking a self-assessment test that can reveal if you have a problem or not. The next step may be addressing a responsible gambling institution.

This type of examination can be conducted on most gambling sites and will usually be located in their Responsible Gaming section. If this is not available, you may look for an online test or even take one on GamStop’s website.

Start reflecting on your gambling habits

Start reflecting on your gambling habits

Financial signs

  • Betting money intended for daily necessities.
  • Borrowing money to fund gambling.
  • Going into debt due to excessive betting.
  • Being secretive/losing track of how much you spend online.
  • Gambling more than you can afford to lose.

Behavioural signs

  • Experiencing guilt or remorse after gambling.
  • Avoiding social activities in order to gamble.
  • Loss of motivation to perform daily tasks.
  • Poor performance at the workplace.
  • Distancing from friends and family members.

Time-related signs

  • Losing track of how much time you spend gambling.
  • Being late for certain commitments.
  • Taking unjustified days off.
  • Spending a considerate amount of time completing simple tasks.

CasinoAlpha expert advice

  1. Self-exclusion is a drastic prevention tool that should be taken seriously.
  2. Pay close attention to the signs of gambling addiction and do not hesitate to take action or ask for help.
  3. If you feel like betting is affecting your daily life, we highly suggest discussing it with a specialist or someone close to you.
  4. After that, review our guide and take further steps towards correcting this detrimental behaviour.
  5. Keep in mind that self-exclusion is not the only solution when it comes to treating gambling addiction.
  6. In case of severe issues, you should also contact a problem gambling organisation.

No matter the circumstances, don’t forget to play responsibly!


We examined the self-exclusion regulations of more than 20 iGaming sites in order to create a thorough and reliable advice. We were able to understand how it operates and what occurs once you activate this preventive mechanism by carefully following each stage of the procedure.

How CasinoAlpha conducts its research

Moreover, we made use of multiple online resources, such as the official websites of gambling problem organisations or regulatory bodies. We thoroughly researched UKGC’s stance on self-exclusion, as well as the advice and resources offered by BeGambleAware.

Above all, we read several online articles published by news websites or other trusted sources. A few of them include Safer Gambling Aotearoa, New Zealand Herald and Problem Gambling Foundation.

We took our time to analyse the terms and conditions of multiple self-exclusion apps and software, including BeGambleAware and GamCare. This enabled us to understand how each program works and which one is the most effective in preventing you from gambling online.


Adela Mariuta
AuthorAdela MariutaAuthor & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adela enjoys exploring the in-depths of the gambling industry and gathering essential insights to provide useful guides and casino reviews meant to help players throughout their online gambling journey. When she’s not venturing into the casino gambling world, she likes taking long drives and listening to old-school music tunes.

Adina Minculescu
ReviewerAdina MinculescuSenior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

Adina’s analytical way of thinking is what casino players need to understand the casino market. With her expertise in this niche combined with her intensive studies in linguistic typology and hermeneutics, she will provide you with the essential help to make informed decisions. Trust her to be your trustworthy guide!