Self Exclusion on Gambling Sites
Online gambling can be fun hobby if you are able to set your limits and control your spending. However if we were all capable of doing that, then there would be no profits for the online bookmakers.
Once you lose the ability to control your spending, your best course of action is to remove your access from your favorite sites. However, deleting your account is not enough as you can reopen your account at any time. To fully disable any access to your online account you will need to enter into a “self exclusion” agreement with the company involved. This article explains the process for the main bookmakers in the UK.
My Experience with Gambling Sites
Towards the end of 2011, I began taking advantage of risk free bets on the William Hill website. I found out about these risk free bets through a very popular money saving website based in the UK. The forums on the money saving site were full of people bragging about four-figure wins from these bets. While the bets were risk free, though, I found myself hooked on the spinning wheels and bonus rounds. I had a talent or a knack for gambling and I took my winnings up to £600.00.
Soon, I found myself logging into my William Hill account first thing in the morning and then every fifteen minutes whilst I worked from home. I went from making risk free bets to making one off £1.00 bets until I was regularly spending £50.00 on a single spin.
By early January 2013, I was heavily overdrawn and realized that my gambling was no longer fun and if I was to keep my self out of trouble I would need to take some serious action.
I first tried to cancel my accounts but within a day I had reactivated them and was gambling again. I read through William Hill's responsible gambling guide and found out about self exclusion. I made the decision to permanently disable all my online gambling accounts. Below, I will let you know my experience with each company. Good luck!
How to Permanently Delete Your Account: A Guide to Self Exclusion on Each Website
- William Hill. William Hill was without a doubt the most difficult company to enter into a self exclusion agreement with. I had to wait thirty minutes with an online agent whilst they questioned me—they seemed determined to keep my account open, and instead suggested that I simply lowered my daily deposits to £20.00 a day (a mere £7300.00 a year). I explained that I was spending more than I could afford and that I feared that I was going to risk my home. They put me through to a senior customer services agent who put me through the same round of questioning. After nearly an hour, they eventually agreed to cancel my account.
- Paddy Power. Paddy Power asks that you request self exclusion through their online chat system. This was a much more painless process than William Hill's. The agent appeared after about thirty seconds and typed “Hi. How can I help you today?” I wrote “I am having trouble with my gambling and would like to enter a self exclusion agreement.” The agent immediately enforced the agreement with no further questioning and e-mailed me confirmation.
- Coral. Coral will issue a standard six month's exclusion on your account if you e-mail their customer care team or use live chat. I chose to e-mail them and my account was closed within the hour. There was no extra confirmation required and no attempt was made to discourage me.
- Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes will cancel your account for a period of between six months to five years. They ask that you contact them with your details and the length of time you would like your account closed. The specialist e-mail for this service is firstname.lastname@example.org. My account took slightly over twenty-four hours to be closed.
- Stan James. This was by far the quickest method as there was no need for anyone other than me to be involved in the decision. To enter a self exclusion agreement you simply navigate to the self exclusion section of your account and click the appropriate button. It really is that simple.
- Skybet. Like Stan James, the power to enter a self exclusion agreement is left firmly in your hands. Go to your personal account area and click "Gambling Safely" and then select “Stop Betting.” You will then answer a few simple questions and your account will be closed. However, despite entering into an agreement with Skybet, they did keep sending me promotional material to try to entice me back.
- Betfair. Betfair will allow you to enter into a self exclusion agreement with three simple clicks. These are: “My Account,” “Player Protection,” and finally “Self Exclusion.”
- BetFred. Betfred insists that all self exclusion requests are made in writing by e-mailing them. They will close your account for a period of six months to five years. They carry out a number of checks to make sure that you are who you say you are before canceling your account.
If you feel that your gambling is no longer under your control, then the option to disable your accounts for a set period of time is available. Generally the sites will not discourage you and instead assist you if you want their help. You can do it.