HomeMassachusetts Gambling Self-Exclusion List

Massachusetts gambling self-exclusion list

As one of many responsible gambling measures, Massachusetts has established a voluntary gambling self-exclusion list. Learn more about the VSE here.

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Gambling should always be done in a safe and responsible manner, but for some, a gambling compulsion can prevent that objective. Gambling addiction affects roughly 1 in 100 U.S. adults, leaving those affected unable to stop themselves from engaging in betting activities and leading to serious health and financial problems.

To help combat compulsive gambling, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has established a voluntary self-exclusion list, also known as the VSE program. Below, we’ll explain how the program works, how to add your name to the list, and what forms of gambling the VSE covers.

Does Massachusetts have a self-exclusion list for gamblers?

Yes, Massachusetts has a self-exclusion list for gamblers. The program is known as VSE, short for “voluntary self-exclusion” and allows individuals to block themselves from casino gambling, sports betting, or both, for a predetermined amount of time.

Massachusetts rolled out the VSE for casino gambling in 2015 when the first casinos opened in the commonwealth. Another program for sports betting was added in 2023 ahead of MA’s sports betting launch.

How the Massachusetts self-exclusion list works

The Massachusetts self-exclusion list works by blocking would-be gamblers from registering for sports betting accounts and entering casinos; they are also removed from any gambling direct marketing lists to avoid temptation. Those on the list are anonymous to the general public but their information is shared with gambling operators to prevent unauthorized access to betting activities.

Those looking to enter the program can apply over the phone by calling the 24-hour Safer Gaming Education Line at 1-800-426-1234. You can also apply with an in-person meeting with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, though you’ll need to schedule an appointment in advance (call 617-533-9737 or email [email protected] to schedule).

When completing the application paperwork, excluders can choose a period of one year, three years, five years, or a lifetime ban. The lifetime ban is only available after the completion of one of the other terms listed. Additionally, they can choose from a casino ban, a sports betting ban, or both options on the same form.

Regardless of the list you choose, pari-mutuel and simulcast wagering are included in the list of prohibitions.

Entering or attempting to enter a gaming establishment will result in forfeiture of all gambling winnings, as well as anything of value that has been converted to betting equipment (tokens, chips, credits, etc.). Losses cannot be reclaimed.

Why do some gamblers put themselves on the Massachusetts self-exclusion list?

Some gamblers put themselves on the Massachusetts self-exclusion list to prevent putting themselves into risky situations that could exacerbate a gambling compulsion. According to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, more than 1,700 individuals have enrolled in the VSE program for casino gaming since launching in 2015.

The decision to enroll in voluntary self-exclusion can be difficult, but the program has shown overwhelmingly positive results for those who enter. A study by the MGC found enrollees reported significant improvements in their mental health, relationship quality, and gambling urges six months after enrolling in the VSE.

Can you take yourself off the Massachusetts self-exclusion list?

No, you cannot take yourself off the Massachusetts self-exclusion list while your term is active. Though you can apply for reinstatement at the end of your term, we do not recommend this option and instead encourage you to remain on the list, filing an extension if necessary to stay on the right path for you.


Are there any fees associated with joining the self-exclusion list in Massachusetts?

No, there are no fees associated with joining the self-exclusion list in Massachusetts. The program is completely free to enter.

Can I self-exclude from both land-based casinos and online gambling sites in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can self-exclude from both land-based casinos and online gambling sites in Massachusetts. To do so, you must register for the voluntary self-exclusion (VSE) program offered by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. You can also choose to self-exclude from sports betting operations in addition to casino gaming.

What is the minimum and maximum duration of self-exclusion in Massachusetts?

The minimum duration of gambling self-exclusion in Massachusetts is one year. You can also select terms of three years or five years to get started. The program extends to a maximum of a lifetime ban. We strongly encourage those who sign up for self-exclusion to remain in the program, extending their term as necessary.

Can I modify or cancel my self-exclusion agreement in Massachusetts?

No, you cannot modify or cancel your self-exclusion agreement in Massachusetts. The only way to leave the program is to apply for reinstatement (and be granted approval) at the end of your term, though we don’t recommend that you pursue reinstatement if you signed up for the program. Instead, we encourage you to extend the term.

What happens if I try to enter a casino or gamble online while on the self-exclusion list in Massachusetts?

If you try to enter a casino or gamble online while on the self-exclusion list in Massachusetts, you will forfeit any money you won or that you had converted into gambling funds (chips, tokens, credits, etc). None of these forfeited items will be returned to you.