Poker operators and most pros will argue that poker is a game of skill and not of chance and hence cannot be termed as gambled. While that argument is well-received, it is also important for poker players around the world to realize that overdoing anything can have negative consequences.
Thousands of poker players every year end up blowing their bankroll, getting into debt and losing it all. This is because they don’t know how to stop and when to stop. Poker pros need to make use of self-exclusion tools that most poker operators offer to help their players know where to draw the line and play responsibly.
Let’s take a look at the top self-exclusion programs today and how they work.
Launched in April 2018, GAMSTOP is a voluntary self-exclusion scheme in the UK, operated by the National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme Limited. All gambling operators duly licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) are required to incorporate GAMSTOP into their respective operations.
How does the scheme work? Users must first register into the scheme by providing the complete personal details required from them, including their email id, postcode, mobile number and date of birth. The user can then select the duration of the self-ban (6 months, 1 year, or 5 years). Within 24 hours, GAMSTOP will confirm the self-exclusion and after that the user will be blocked from gambling with every UKGC-licensed gambling operators, within the specified period.
While the self-exclusion is ongoing, you will not be allowed to cancel it until your chosen period has elapsed. Once the minimum exclusion period is reached, you will be required to contact GAMSTOP to regain access to the gambling sites, otherwise self-exclusion will remain in place.
GAMSTOP does not cover unlicensed sites, or offshore operators, including those licensed by the Curacao Gaming Commission. Customers who want to gamble GAMSTOP-free often turn to these sites to play without interruption, though some of these operators have customer support who facilitate self-exclusion requests from customers.
Cooling Off Scheme
Another option for customers to control their gambling activity is by setting internal “cooling off” periods. Poker sites mostly use this scheme to provide a safer environment for their players. The customers can set the cooling off period anywhere from 7 days to several months.
Within the indicated period, the player will be blocked from accessing the platform. Upon completion of the cooling off period, the player’s account is reinstated and they can now resume playing.
Both the GAMSTOP and cooling off schemes are available for free.