In this guide, we’ll walk you through how the Maryland self exclusion list works, who should consider enrolling in the Voluntary Exclusion Program, and the benefits the VEP offers.
Does Maryland have a self exclusion list for gamblers?
Yes, Maryland has a self exclusion list for gamblers. The Voluntary Exclusion Program is run by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) and is a tool Marylanders can use to help prevent problem gaming.
Those looking to enroll in the program must complete an application and return it to the MLGCA office in Baltimore or to the MLG compliance officer who is on duty at any of the six Maryland casinos. If your application is granted and you are put on the self exclusion list, you will be banned from participating in all types of gambling in Maryland for a period of no fewer than two years but can also choose a lifetime ban if that is a better option for you.
How the Maryland self exclusion list works
The Maryland self exclusion list works by blocking players from putting themselves in positions where they could gamble. Entry into the Voluntary Exclusion Program typically must be done in person, though it can be done through a notary in some cases (all of which require prior approval). As part of the application, players must acknowledge that they are unable to gamble responsibly in Maryland and that they are of sober mind when completing the application.
Persons who are granted a spot in the program are banned from all gambling activities in the state, including online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, Maryland Lottery games, Maryland casinos, and electronic instant bingo halls. Those attempting to enter gaming facilities where they have applied for the exclusion could be arrested for doing so under charges of criminal trespassing, along with any other applicable offenses.
If you choose to be in the VEP for two years, you will not be removed from the program automatically once those two years are up. We highly recommend that you use the lifetime option if you are considering the program, as this is the more effective option in most cases. Removal from the program is possible if you are able to meet certain criteria following your time in the VEP, though removing this safeguard can make it very easy to slide back into old habits and dangerous behaviors.
Why do gamblers put themselves on the Maryland self exclusion list?
Gamblers put themselves on the Maryland self exclusion list to further reduce the potential to engage in problem gambling. Because of the harsh consequences involved for gambling or attempting to gamble while participating in the Voluntary Exclusion Program, would-be gamblers would have further incentive to stay away from locations and situations where risky betting could occur.
While the self exclusion list is a great and helpful tool to prevent problem gambling, it shouldn’t be the only tool in your arsenal. For additional resources, contact the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling by visiting their website or calling/texting 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537).
Can you remove yourself from the Maryland self exclusion list?
Yes, you can remove yourself from the Maryland self exclusion list, but we strongly encourage those who are on the list to continue to stay in the Voluntary Exclusion Program. Gambling addiction is a serious health concern, and staying in the VEP is an excellent way to prevent players from returning to poor habits and destructive behaviors.