The not so self-exclusive list

[Cove Member Story]

It was about 4 months ago that I put myself on the self-exclusion list. When I first put myself on the list I was very excited. I was finally doing something about my addiction…I was finally taking a step in the right direction.

Then, temptation hit, and I tested the measure of the self-exclusion list. I got dressed and drove down to the nearest casino. I walked in nervously, thinking they would recognize me immediately. I followed my normal behavior. walking in and began playing my favorite games. I sat right in front of security, and nothing happened.

During my visit I was able gamble over $300 away.  Normal casino activities, like taking money out of the ATM, cashing out vouchers, socializing with casino security were a breeze. I did the same amount of damage to my finances, and walked out with my tail tucked.

I thought to myself, well maybe it was too new for them to really recognize me, so I waited another week or so and decided to go back. This time, I went with my sister who I could use to collect any big wins over $1000 if I were to hit.  While highly unlikely, I had put measures in place to avoid not being able to collect my big winnings

It seemed that after I submitted my request to be put on the list, I was making more friends with the staff. They even recognized me and would come up and socialize with me during my visit, but there was no enforcement of the rules. I was still waiting for them to escort me out, but still nothing – I would have welcomed it.


At this point I feel let down. I feel like I took a step to make myself better, and was not supported by the gaming industry.  I am forced to believe that the whole idea is a fluke. Self-exclusion is a façade put in place to make us feel like they really care. When in actuality, they truly don’t.

I am sharing my story with The Cove members because, in my opinion, the gaming industry does not have our best interest at heart. The step to self-exclude is not properly enforced (verified within the state of Arizona), and even if someone puts their name on the self-exclusion list, that the real responsibility will be oneself to enforce.

At most, I can only imaging that the enforcement happens when you win a jackpot amount. Each loss in between is acceptable and continues to line the casinos wallet despite the plea for help.

Just know that the self-exclusion list is not the end all for fixing a gambling issue – if that is something you seek to address. Putting yourself on the list is a great step, but also be prepared to put some other measures in place to support your decision.


Other resources

The Challenge of Self-Exclusion for Gambling Addicts



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