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Voluntary Self-exclusion Process Improved to Quickly Connect Individuals with Help

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New York State’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP), consisting of the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG), the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), and the New York State Gaming Commission, continues to improve the voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) process at gaming facilities across the state.

The NYCPG has launched a new free VSE Support Program to help individuals who recognize they may have a gambling problem quickly find the resources they need to exclude themselves from gambling activities in New York State.

VSE, which allows individuals to ban themselves from gambling activities, can be an effective tool at reducing the harm caused by problem gambling. By voluntarily self-excluding oneself, they are barred from entering any gaming establishment or partaking in any gambling activity in New York State, including sports wagering.

According to OASAS’ 2020 Problem Gambling Prevalence Survey, 4.4% of adults in NY are at risk for developing a gambling problem and an additional 0.7% meet the criteria for problem gambling or a gambling disorder.

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When an individual seeks to self-exclude at a licensed gaming facility in New York State, staff from the NYCPG are now available to:

  • Explain the self-exclusion process in plain language
  • Connect the individual to a problem gambling treatment provider, as well as information for counseling, peer support and recovery services
  • Assist with completing the VSE necessary forms, including notarization.

NYCPG Executive Director James Maney said: “Assisting those in need of help through providing care and concern is at the core of what NYCPG does, and the launch of this new program exemplifies that care and concern by breaking down barriers. The new online notary services make it easier for individuals to complete remote VSE, while also connecting to one of our caring staff members who are knowledgeable about the process.”

OASAS Commissioner Dr. Chinazo Cunningham said: “OASAS oversees a robust system of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and recovery services for those affected by addiction across the state, including problem gambling. Voluntary self- exclusion can be an effective prevention strategy to reduce gambling harms, and this new support program not only provides a way for people to complete the self-exclusion process, but also offers an opportunity to connect to OASAS local problem gambling community support services to assist in mitigating further harm.”

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams said: “The Gaming Commission is committed to ensuring that licensed facilities operate in responsible and sensitive matters for those who need help. The New York Council on Problem Gambling’s VSE Support Program provides those individuals with the knowledge and resources to make the best decisions for their welfare.”

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NYS OASAS Launches “Stick to the Game Plan” Campaign

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The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (NYS OASAS) has announced the launch of the “Stick to the Game Plan” campaign. The goal of this new multi-faceted campaign is to bring awareness to problem gambling and how to prevent it, and to help direct people in need to problem gambling services.

“As gambling opportunities continue to expand, it is essential that we remind people about the importance of gambling responsibly, and the steps they can take to help avoid risks of developing a gambling addiction. It is also equally important for parents to talk with their children about gambling. This new campaign will give people the tools they need to help prevent problem gambling, as well as direct them on where to find help if they need it,” OASAS Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said.

“Stick to the Game Plan” is a digital, radio, and social media campaign which will run through April 1, 2022. It is designed to increase awareness of the risks of problem gambling and provide tips on how to prevent gambling harms. The campaign will highlight responsible gaming tips including setting limits on the amount of time and money one plans to spend gambling, limiting the use of alcohol and other substances while gambling, and reminding the public that gambling is not for those under 21 years old.

“For some, gambling is a recreational activity that just involves a fun night out. For others, it can lead to financial ruin for both themselves and their families. This prevention campaign provides the tools to make a plan that allows recreational gamblers to have fun, but also ensure their future financial health,” Assemblymember Phil Steck said.

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“This timely and necessary initiative from OASAS to educate New Yorkers on problem gambling and where to find help is commendable and will save many New Yorkers from financial ruin and worse,” Senator Pete Harckham said.

The campaign also directs people in need on how to find help, including via the NYS HOPELine and through New York State’s regional Problem Gambling Resource Centers.

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