Examining Kentucky’s Self-Exclusion Lists For Sports Betting

When Kentucky released its sports betting regulations last week, we saw some clarity on self-exclusion lists.

In addition to setting Sept. 7 as its official sports betting industry launch, Kentucky added more information about responsible gambling. For instance, even though the state allows 18-year-olds to gamble on sports, there will be no advertisements at elementary, middle, or high school activities, including advertisements distributed via mass media.

There will also be no such thing as promotions calling for “risk-free” or “free bets.”

Kentucky also included a note about self-exclusion lists. The Bluegrass State will give individuals the opportunity to sign themselves up, helping to curb any temptation to wager irresponsibly.

What Are Self-Exclusion Lists?

In short, they are an option to help those with problem gambling addictions.

Self-exclusion lists are made up of individuals who have willingly put their names on a list so that they’re unable to open a sportsbook account or gamble at a brick-and-mortar operation.

In states with casinos (not Kentucky), each patron must show their driver’s license to enter to prove they are of legal age to gamble. When a casino scans a license, the name is run through electronic databases, which include the self-exclusion lists.

If there’s a match, the casino will not allow the person to enter, and in most cases, they could eventually be charged with trespassing if they fail to leave the premises.

When it comes to online sports betting in Kentucky, if an individual puts their name on a self-exclusion list, they are unable to create an account, just as how they’d be barred from entering a casino. Their account would be shut down or locked as well if they are an existing customer.

Additionally, most self-exclusion lists also prohibit operators from sending advertisements to individuals on the lists. They cannot receive any sort of promotions or flyers through the mail.

Should self-excluded individuals somehow be allowed to wager or receive any sort of advertisements, operators could be subject to fines.

What Kentucky’s Emergency Regulations Say

Each operator licensee will create and maintain a self-exclusion list that’s approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

According to the emergency regulations, the commission will consider the following factors when approving a list:

  • The list will include names/other identifying information of those who have self-excluded from sports betting at any legal premise or online.
  • Each operator must keep a public notice of the self-exclusion list and methods the individuals may use to self-identify at the legal retail sportsbooks, online or by phone.
  • That notice must be put on display at public entrances of all sportsbook locations and on each operator’s website/mobile app.
  • The list must highlight the consequences of self-exclusion.

Additionally, each licensed operator within Kentucky will collect the self-exclusion information.

Each licensee will also develop a responsible gaming program, which must be approved by the commission. They must ensure that when someone requests to be put on the self-exclusion list, that request must be honored.

States often offer different time frames for the self-exclusion lists. There was no mention of different lengths in the emergency regulations. Some states allow individuals to self-exclude for a year, five years, or a lifetime.

Self-Exclusion Lists Are ‘Very Important’

Self-exclusion lists aren’t perfect, but it’s incredibly difficult to circumvent the system with the technology and the operator databases.

Gaming Today spoke with C.J. Fisher, Co-Chair and Partner in the Gaming Department at Fox Rothschild LLP. Fisher, who’s worked with a number of industries surrounding Kentucky, said that he’s pretty familiar with self-exclusion lists.

Geolocation services would stop those on self-exclusion lists (or anyone, for that matter) from gambling with a Kentucky sportsbook in another state. You must be in Kentucky to use a Kentucky sportsbook account. That prevents anyone on the self-exclusion list from using their Kentucky accounts in another state.

“Kentucky operators, they are going to have a geolocation provider that uses a number of ways of determining the location of the individual,” Fisher explained. “If they are in Ohio, they would be unable to place a wager with a Kentucky operator. If the individual is on an exclusion list, they would be able to identify that person as being on a self-exclusion list.”

For the most part, though, self-exclusion lists are one of the better ways that problem gambling individuals can keep their distance from the industry.

“I think they are very important and very effective as well,” Fisher said.

About the Author
Carson Mundy

Carson Mundy

Brand Content Manager
Carson Mundy is the brand content manager of Gaming Today. With a background in politics, sports, and SEO, he covers the legislative side of the sports betting industry. Carson has more than a decade of experience in the media and marketing industries, with time spent at resulta, The Canadian Press, Microsoft News, The Canadian Olympic Media Broadcast Consortium, Sportsnet, and other national outlets.

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