Iowa And Nebraska Self-Exclusion Gambling Lists Explained

Written By Adam Hensley on September 29, 2022
Iowa and Nebraska offer voluntary self-exclusion programs for problem gamblers

As gambling becomes more popular, Iowa and Nebraska are taking steps to ensure those addicted can get help.

The Nebraska gambling industry is relatively new, with its first casino opened on Sept. 24 in Lincoln. Meanwhile, Iowa’s gambling industry has been around for more than 30 years.

Despite both states at different points in their gambling history, Nebraska and Iowa have self-exclusion programs. These are in place for problem gamblers seeking help.

Getting your name on the self-exclusion list essentially bars you from playing games in a casino or any legal gambling institution. In Iowa, this includes sports wagering and fantasy sports operators.

“The power of this addiction is as intense as any addiction out there,” Lincoln-based gambling counselor Mike Sciandra told the Nebraska Examiner.

How can I sign up for self-exclusion programs in Iowa and Nebraska?

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission states that applications for the self-exclusion list “may only be accepted, and an intake performed, by a designated agent approved by the Commission.”

The designated agent forwards the signed application to the Commission within 48 hours of completion. Once approved, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission adds the individual’s name to the self-exclusion list.

In Iowa, you can enroll in the self-exclusion program in various ways. Individuals can enroll:

  • By mail
  • In person at the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s Des Moines office
  • In person at an Iowa Gambling Treatment Program agency
  • At any state-licensed gambling facility

If someone signs up through the mail, they’ll need to take their paperwork to a notary public and sign in the notary’s presence. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s website says it may take two weeks for facilities to enforce the exclusion.

For Iowans, visit the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s website under the self-exclusion program tab to learn more. For Nebraskans, head to the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission’s website and click on the responsible gaming tab to get full details.

What happens if someone on the self-exclusion list tries to enter a casino?

To enter any casino, individuals must have their driver’s license scanned. Their license information will pop up in the system, notifying the casino of someone on the self-exclusion list.

Staff will ask them to leave. If an individual somehow bypasses security to get into a casino, casino staff will escort them off the property. The individual could face criminal trespassing charges.

The casino withholds or confiscates all winnings the individual collected in their time on the property.

Gambling temptations are removed with self-exclusion programs

In Iowa, gambling organizations must remove individuals in the self-exclusion program from the mailing lists. All licensed gambling entities in the state can no longer send marketing information to the person.

Individuals lose access to their slot memberships and online accounts used for sports wagering and fantasy sports betting, as well.

How long is the self-exclusion period in Iowa and Nebraska?

It varies by state.

In Iowa, you can sign up to be on the self-exclusion program for five years or life. The list automatically removes the individual once their five years conclude. Those enrolled in a lifetime exclusion cannot be removed at any time.

Nebraska offers four options:

  1. One year
  2. Three years
  3. Five years
  4. A lifetime

A person must appear within the program for at least six months before selecting the lifetime duration. In both states, you cannot apply to decrease your exclusion period. You can only apply to increase it.

Photo by Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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