Self-exclusion - Gambling Commission (2023)

If you think that you are spending too much time or money on gambling, whether online or in gambling premises, then you can ask to be self-excluded.

What is self-exclusion?

Self-exclusion is a tool used by those who have recognised that their gambling is harmful to them. It is for those who wish to be supported to stop gambling.

You can take active steps to remove yourself from gambling whether online or in a premises. You enter into a formal agreement not to gamble, and it is up to you to stick to your self-exclusion. If you try to gamble during that time, the gambling business must take reasonable steps to stop you.

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You can choose to self-exclude via a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme. These schemes allow you to make a single request to self-exclude from the same type of land-based gambling within your area. GAMSTOP allows you to self-exclude from online operators with one request.

Gambling businesses are required to have their own self-exclusion arrangements in place. You may wish to exclude from one business only.

In addition to self-exclusion, you should also seek support. We have detailed the many organisations that can help you.

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You could consider software which blocks your access to gambling websites. More information about blocking software (opens in a new tab) can be found on GamCare's website.

We have also created guidance to help you limit the amount of gambling related content you see on social media. You can read our guides on protecting people on social media.

Once you have made a self-exclusion agreement

The gambling business must close your account and return any money in your account to you. It must also remove your name and details from any marketing databases it uses.

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It is your responsibility to stick to your self-exclusion agreement. If you try to gamble during that time, the gambling business should take reasonable steps to prevent you from doing so in the future.

Breaking your self-exclusion agreement

There may be occasions where customers who have self-excluded are able to gamble. It is the responsibility of the gambling business to put procedures in place to prevent this from happening.

If you have gambled whilst self-excluded you should let the gambling business know as it helps them to identify any areas where their procedures could be improved.

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You may also wish to let us know as it provides useful information about whether gambling business procedures are working.

If you do want to contact us with this type of information, you will need to give us permission to share your details with the gambling business. You will also need to tell us:

  • when you entered into the self-exclusion agreement
  • how you let the gambling business know that you wanted to self-exclude
  • how the gambling business confirmed that the self-exclusion was in place
  • the time period you were self-excluded for
  • the dates you were able to gamble despite having a self-exclusion date agreement in place
  • details of any contact you have had with the gambling business since you gambled with them.

This information will be used to consider if any regulatory action is needed. We are unable to provide refunds for any money you have spent gambling.

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Last updated: 23 September 2022

Show updates to this content

Various updates made following the linkage and creation of the 'Free multi operator and national self-exclusion schemes' webpage (new content).

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