Bipartisan legislation Assembly Democrats Ralph R. Caputo, Troy Singleton, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and John J. Burzichelli sponsored to allow individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from gaming activities without citing a gambling problem as the reason for doing is now law.
The new law (A-2444) allows a person to be placed on the self-excluded gaming activity list at all New Jersey gaming facilities without first acknowledging having a gambling problem. Previously, signing a statement verifying that the request was made “because I am a problem gambler” was a prerequisite for appearance on the list.
“Admitting on a document that you are a problem gambler is a step many New Jerseyans may not be ready to make, even if they are confronting their problem,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “Many may feel the document is a stigma that can be used against them, but with this option, they can now get some help without having to make that potentially embarrassing admission.”
“This is simply another option for those who want to exclude themselves from New Jersey’s gaming facilities, but don’t want to concede a problem on an official document they fear may come back to haunt them down the road,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “Gambling addiction is a disease, and if this can help some people overcome their problem, it’s a step in the right direction.”
“This law gives those trying to fight the scourge of problem gambling a means to recover,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “If allowing them to ban themselves from facilities without admitting a problem on a document can help, then they ought to have that option.”
“We typically don’t make those recovering from substance abuse sign documents admitting their problem, and we shouldn’t hold those fighting to recover from gambling addiction to a more difficult standard,” said Burzichelli (D-Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem). “This law can help many people get the help they need without facing embarrassment.”
Under the law, a requester of voluntary exclusion may choose to be excluded from gaming activities at licensed casinos and simulcasting facilities, including Internet gaming activities, for a minimum of one year or for five years or a lifetime. Once an individual is on the list, casinos must stop marketing to the individual. Casino personnel may also refuse to accept wagers or ask the individual to leave a gaming area. If the individual on the list does gamble, he or she will be unable to collect any winnings or recover any losses.