Self-excluding from online sportsbooks: The Dos and Dont's

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Sportsbook Review occasionally receives email from readers who have had difficulty permanently closing their online sportsbook accounts. In some of the cases, the players attempted to opt out or self-exclude themselves from the betting sites due to having uncontrollable gambling urges.

One reader wrote to SBR this morning expressing frustration that his request to bar himself from a betting site was not honored; should a sportsbook be liable for losses incurred after a previous attempt to be excluded from the website?

The long and short of it is no, an online sportsbook is not liable for losses incurred because players had a change of heart and requested access to be reinstated.

While gambling addiction is a very real and destructive illness, ultimately players must be responsible for their decisions, the same as a stockbroker who wants time out of the game must resist the urge to fire in another trade.

Players who have attempted to self-exclude have taken a step in the right direction. SBR advises players who wish to self-exclude to also take the following actions to help minimize the chance that they will redeposit at a betting site, or at the very least make it more of a process to recover their account access.

Change your password immediately after self-excluding
It might seem odd, but by intentionally losing your password you are forcing yourself to have to deal with customer service to attempt to have your access reinstated, even before attempting to have the self-imposed block lifted. Most customer service representatives at reputable sportsbooks will not even let it get that far by identifying that you are a problem gambler.

Still, some online sportsbooks are better than others at honoring requests. The higher rated a sportsbook, the more likely its printed word means something, so by self-excluding from a reputable business, you are almost assured to be shut out for the length of time you have requested if not indefinitely. Sportsbooks that can barely pay on-time are less likely to honor the wishes of a gambler seeking assistance.

Don't save any wagering slips or records
Delete all previous bet history and browsing history. There is no need to remind yourself of your gambling activity when you do not have to. A system reformat (reinstall of operating system) will do the trick.

Avoid ESPN and sports in general for a while
If your poison was wagering on NFL games, step away from the tube and skip to a different section of the newspaper until you have some time not wagering under your belt. It is tough to quit gambling overnight, and even harder when you are constantly watching or reading about the very sport that you won and lost money wagering.

Seek help from recovery groups in your area
Sportsbook Review will help any gambler struggling with stepping away to find local support groups or a meeting. Write to if you would like to start the road to recovery.

Sportsbook Review was founded in 1999 as an industry watchdog and has helped sports bettors recover millions of dollars from online sportsbooks. If you have a dispute that you would like to share, submit a sportsbook complaint form.

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