Voluntary exclusion requests saw a rise in November, as online sports betting debuted in Maryland. This increase, however, doesn’t necessarily seem to be linked to the launch of Maryland sportsbook apps.
The 41 people who signed up for Maryland’s casino Voluntarily Exclusion Program in November parallels the monthly record set in January 2019 and August 2022.
Voluntary self-exclusion numbers rise in Maryland
Legal online sports betting went live in Maryland on Nov. 23 with seven sportsbook apps. And in just nine November days, Marylanders gambled more money via online sportsbooks than they did in the first six months combined of retail sports betting.
A total of 2,698 gamblers are now participating in the state’s self-exclusion program, according to the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA). By doing so, these individuals are, in effect, prohibiting themselves from participating in gambling.
Through November, 346 people have signed up for the program in 2022 — setting a new annual record. The previous annual high was 341 exclusion requests in 2019.
Since Maryland launched its gambling self-exclusion option in 2011, participation has increased every year. The only exceptions to this came in 2018 and 2020.
With online sports betting becoming the latest option in the mix, November voluntary exclusion numbers were expected to see a notable increase. But surprisingly, this addition did not cause a significant spike in self-exclusions.
How does Maryland deal with problem gambling behavior?
Maryland is among dozens of states offering a voluntary self-exclusion option for its regulated gambling industry.
The MLGCA’s self-exclusion program is for individuals who wish to ban themselves from casinos, the lottery, instant bingo halls, sports wagering or daily fantasy sports. Those that opt to exclude themselves from sports betting will also be excluded from casinos that offer in-person sports betting.
Participants can either opt to exclude themselves for two years or for life. According to the MLGCA data, 1,074 people have opted for a lifetime ban, while 1,624 are currently prohibited from gambling in Maryland for two years.
A person on a two-year ban must request to be removed from the self-exclusion list. MLGCA then makes the final decision on whether to remove an excluded person from the list.
Four Maryland casino operators — Cordish Company (Live! Casino & Hotel), Caesars Entertainment (Horseshoe Baltimore), Penn National (Hollywood Casino Perryville) and also MGM Resorts (MGM National Harbor) — may extend this restriction to affiliated properties in other states.
Breaking down the data on MD’s gambling exclusion program
Maryland’s Voluntary Exclusion Program applies to non-state residents as well. According to the MLGCA stats, 1,140 people on the list are not residents of The Old Line State.
More than 70% of those enrolled in Maryland’s casino voluntary exclusion program are men. The state’s data shows 802 women are currently participating. A majority of the program’s enrollees are between the ages of 35 and 54. The most (780) are between 35 and 44.
Roughly 10% of the voluntary exclusion program participants are 65 years of age or older.