Help for Problem Gamblers

Help for Problem Gamblers

Self-Exclusion Program

In July 2002, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) launched a Statewide Casino Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program (SEP) for Problem Gamblers that allows persons who have determined they are problem gamblers to self-exclude themselves from all Illinois casinos. On June 28, 2019 the Sports Wagering Act was signed into law. The Sports Wagering Act requires that the Board self-exclusion program for sports wagering be incorporated into the existing self-exclusion program. Individuals already on the self-exclusion list are precluded from participation in sports wagering.

Problem Gambling Registry

In February 2018, the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) established a voluntary, confidential Problem Gambling Registry for Video Gaming. Persons enrolled in the registry will receive regular emails providing information on problem gambling and containing links to problem gambling prevention and treatment resources available in Illinois. Individuals enrolled in the problem gambling registry may cancel their enrollments at any time. Both Illinois and out-of-state residents may enroll in the problem gambling registry.
Contact the IGB at 1-877-YOU-QUIT (1-877-968-7848) (for Illinois residents) or (312) 814-8832 (Non Illinois residents).

Department of Human Services Problem Gambling Services

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) has developed the following website for help, support and advice about problem gambling. The website accompanies the telephone number 1-800-GAMBLER and seeks to provide another outlet for individuals experiencing a gambling disorder and their families. People can also text ILGAMB to 53342. Each of these resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Support specialists who operate the helpline and website are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers and website users with treatment and recovery support services.

Applicable Rules

Self-Exclusion Program

The rules regarding the Self-Exclusion Program are set forth in Sections 745-790 of the Board's Adopted Rules (86 Ill. Admin. Code 3000.745 through 3000.790).

Problem Gambling Registry

The rules regarding the establishment of the Video Gaming Problem Gambling Registry are set forth in Section 1730 of the Board's Adopted Rules (11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.1730).

Enrollment Process

Persons with a gambling problem may enroll in either or both of the following programs administered by the Illinois Gaming Board. The Problem Gambling Registry was created under the Video Gaming Administrative Code, but provides information that would be useful to anyone with a gambling problem.

Self-Exclusion Program

Persons must enroll in the Self-Exclusion Program in person at various sanctioned enrollment sites throughout the state. In addition to Illinois locations, there are IGB Self-Exclusion enrollment sites in Iowa. It will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete the enrollment process. All Self-Exclusion candidates must bring a valid driver's license or state issued identification card with them to complete the process.
Enrollment sites are not compensated by the IGB for participating in the Self-Exclusion Program and no fees are charged for enrolling in the IGB Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program for Problem Gamblers.

Problem Gambling Registry

You may immediately enroll in the Video Gaming Problem Gambling Registry using the Problem Gambling Registry System. After you submit your information, you will receive an email containing a link you will use to verify your email address. You will not be enrolled until you verify your email address. You may use the Problem Gambling Registry System to cancel your enrollment at any time.

Information for Mental Health Providers

The Illinois Department of Human Services has developed guidelines for certified gambling addiction counselors who are asked to help persons seeking removal from SEP. The IGB expects mental health providers to follow these guidelines. Those professional/expert opinions provided for clients that do not follow these guidelines will be rejected.
Persons seeking removal from the IGB Self-Exclusion Program must obtain an affidavit from a licensed, certified gambling addiction counselor. The affidavit must attest and confirm the counselor has determined the Self-Excluded person no longer is a problem gambler and can gamble responsibly. Those individuals who have violated Self-Exclusion may be required to provide an affidavit from two gambling addiction counselors. Individuals may seek removal from the IGB Self-Exclusion List five years after enrollment.

Self-Exclusion Enrollment Sites

Persons wishing to Self-Exclude can enroll at all of the IGB offices located at all casinos. IGB staff located at the casinos will do their best to accommodate those seeking to Self-Exclude but may ask at potential Self-Exclude persons to return at another time if conflicts arise in the performance of their other duties. An appointment is not necessary to enroll in the program at an IGB office located at a casino.
Chicago area sites Hide Sites
Associates in Behavioral Health Care
783 South Route 31
West Dundee, Illinois 60118
Call (847) 791-4384 to schedule an appointment.
Ecker Center for Behavioral Health
1845 Grandstand Place
Elgin, IL 60123
Call (847) 695-0484 to schedule an appointment.
Human Resources Development Institute Inc.
222 S. Jefferson Avenue
Chicago, Illinois
Call (312) 441-9009 to schedule an appointment.
Northern Illinois Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse (Nicasa)
31979 N. Fish Lake Road
Round Lake, Illinois
Call (847) 546-6450 to schedule an appointment.
The Share Program
1776 Moon Lake Boulevard
Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Call (847) 882-4181 to schedule an appointment.
Way Back Inn
104 Oak Street
Maywood, Illinois
Call (708) 345-8422 to schedule an appointment.
Other Illinois sites Hide Sites
Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery
Proctor Hospital
5409 North Knoxville
Peoria, Illinois
Call (800) 522-3784 to schedule an appointment.
Egyptian Health Department
1412 US HWY 45 N
Eldorado, IL 62930
Call 618-273-3326 Ext. 2013 to schedule an appointment.
Iroquois Mental Health Center
323 W. Mulberry Street
Watseka, Illinois 60970
Call (815) 432-5241 to schedule an appointment.
Remedies Renewing Live
1908 Pierce Ct.
Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Call () to schedule an appointment.
Alpha Omega Counseling Services
123 N. Vermillion
Danville, IL
Call (217) 274-7336 to schedule an appointment
Iowa sites Hide Sites

ADDS Gambling Treatment Services
226 W. Main Street
Suite #16
Ottumwa, Iowa
Call (641) 682-8741 ext. 301 to schedule an appointment.
ADDS Gambling Treatment Services
1340 Mt. Pleasant Street
Burlington, Iowa
Call (319) 753-6567 to schedule an appointment.
Area Substance Abuse Council
119 South Main Suite 2
Maquoketa IA 52060
Phone: (563) 652-2215
Area Substance Abuse Council
250 20th Avenue North Suite 250
Clinton IA 52732
Phone: (563) 243-2124
Area Substance Abuse Council
799 Main St.
Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone: (563) 582-3784
Area Substance Abuse Council
909 W. Main St. Suite 1
Manchester, IA 52057
Phone: (563) 927-5112
Center for Alcohol and Drug Services Inc.,
4869 Forest Grove Dr.,
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
Call (563) 322-2667 to make an appointment
Prelude Behavioral Services
438 Southgate Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Call (319) 248-4100 to schedule an appointment.
Prelude Behavioral Services
3451 Easton Blvd
Des Moines, Iowa
Call (319) 333-5520 to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Problem Gambling

Isn't it shameful to admit to having a problem with gambling? Hide Answer
No. Problem gambling is like a disease. It is not your fault or the fault of a loved one if it is contracted. But it is the responsibility of the problem/compulsive gambler to do something about it. What is shameful is to continue doing serious damage to yourself and loved ones while knowing full well that gambling is a problem. People need to be aware of the danger signals, which can give them early warning that they are susceptible to the disease.
How can I tell if I am a problem/compulsive gambler? Is there a test? Hide Answer
Gamblers Anonymous offers the following questions to anyone who feels he or she may have a gambling problem or wants to stop gambling.
  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  4. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  5. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  6. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  7. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
  8. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition and efficiency?
  9. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible to win back your losses?
  10. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  11. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  12. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  13. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  14. Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
  15. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  16. Did you ever gamble longer than you planned?
  17. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  18. Have you ever committed or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  19. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
  20. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  21. Did you ever have the urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  22. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions, according to Gamblers Anonymous.
There are no dues or fees for Gamblers Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous provdes a search for meetings in Illinois.
The National Center for Responsible Gaming has suggested mental health officials pose the following three questions to help determine if someone is at risk for developing a gambling problem:
  1. During the past 12 months, have you become restless, irritable or anxious when trying to stop/cut down on gambling?
  2. During the past 12 months, have you tried to keep your family and friends from knowing how much you gambled?
  3. During the past 12 months did you have such financial trouble as a result of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends or welfare?
A "yes" answer to any of the questions means the person is at risk for developing a gambling problem.
How can I tell if my loved one is a problem/compulsive gambler? Hide Answer
Gam-Anon is a non-profit, self-help fellowship that offers support for family members and friends whose lives have been affected compulsive gambling. If you are living with a compulsive gambler, you will answer yes to at least six of the following questions according to Gam-Anon:
  1. Do you find yourself constantly bothered by bill collectors?
  2. Is the person in question often away from home for long, unexplained periods of time?
  3. Does this person ever lose time from work due to gambling?
  4. Do you feel that this person cannot be trusted with money?
  5. Does the person in question faithfully promise that he or she will stop gambling, and yet gamble again and again?
  6. Does this person ever gamble longer than he or she intended to, until the last dollar is gone?
  7. Does this person immediately return to gambling to try to recover losses or win more?
  8. Does this person ever gamble to get money to solve financial difficulties or have unrealistic expectations that gambling will bring the family material comfort and wealth?
  9. Does this person borrow money to gamble with or to pay gambling debts?
  10. Has this person's reputation ever suffered due to gambling, even to the extent of committing ill to finance gambling?
Like Gamblers Anonymous, there are Gam-Anon chapters throughout the country. Click on the Gam-Anon link below to find a listing of Gam-Anon meetings. In Illinois you may call the Gam-Anon hotline at (708) 802-0105 for assistance.

Self-Exclusion Program

How do I Self-Exclude? Hide Answer
Persons wishing to Self-Exclude should call the nearest enrollment site to schedule an appointment.
If a person does not speak English, he or she should call 1-877-YOU-QUIT or (312) 814-8832 so arrangements can be made to have a translator present. A family member or friend who speaks English may serve as a translator.
How do I get off the Self-Exclusion List after I have enrolled? Hide Answer
The Illinois Self-Exclusion Program is for life. Removal from the list of Self-Excluded persons is very difficult. After five years a Self-Excluded person may request removal from the Self-Exclusion List. However, in order to be removed from the Self-Exclusion List, a Self-Excluded person must provide an affidavit from a licensed mental health professional who is also a certified gambling addictions counselor. The affidavit, which must be addressed to the Administrator of the Illinois Gaming Board, must attest and confirm that the licensed, certified gambling addictions counselor has determined that the Self-Excluded person no longer is a problem gambler and can gamble responsibly. Obtaining such an affidavit will be difficult.
The Administrator will take such an affidavit into consideration when deciding if a person should be removed from the Self-Exclusion List. If the submission meets the requirements for removal, there may be further investigation required by the IGB before considering the request. The IGB's legal staff may also seek public action from the five members of the Illinois Gaming Board in order to remove a Self-Excluded person from the Self-Exclusion List.
In addition, a person seeking removal from the Self-Exclusion List must provide the following:
  • Documentation as to treatment received for the person's gambling problem, length of treatment, and names and qualifications of treatment providers.
  • A written recommendation, from a qualified mental health professional who is a certified gambling counselor, as to the person's capacity to participate in gambling without adverse health and mental health risks or consequences related to gambling. “Certified gambling counselor" means an individual who has completed a specific course of study in the treatment of problem gambling and has been certified by a certification organization acceptable to the Board. Those organizations include the following: National Council on Problem Gambling, American Compulsive Gambling Counselor Certification Board and the Illinois Dept of Human Services.
  • Upon request of the Administrator, a written recommendation, from a second or subsequent physician or qualified mental health professional who is a certified gambling counselor, as to the self-excluded person's capacity to participate in gambling without adverse health and mental health risks or consequences related to gambling.
  • All information required under Section 3000.755(a), including name, address, date of birth, social security number, a copy of the person's driver's license, a physical description and a current photograph.
  • A statement informing the Administrator whether the person has been present at any casino gaming operations while on the Self-Exclusion List and, if so, the names of the casino operations at which the person was present and dates and times of attendance.
  • A waiver of liability of the Board, its agents and the State of Illinois for any damages that may arise out of any act or omission committed by the person as a consequence of his or her removal from the Self-Exclusion List, including any monetary or other damages sustained in connection with the person's renewal of any gaming activities.
  • A verified, written consent to the release of all of the person's medical and counseling records related to the proposed removal from the Self-Exclusion List.
  • Any additional information, forms, recommendations, or other materials necessary, as determined by the Administrator, to demonstrate the elimination of the mental health or medical condition underlying the person's acknowledgement that he or she has been a problem gambler and unable to gamble responsibly.
Where do I go to Self-Exclude? Hide Answer
Persons wishing to Self-Exclude may enroll at any of the enrollment sites.
If I enroll in the Illinois Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Program, will I be excluded from only Illinois casinos and Illinois sports wagering operations? Hide Answer
No. Casinos operators in Illinois can request they be allowed to ban Illinois Gaming Board Self-Excluded persons from all their properties and operations throughout the United States. Sports wagering operations may also chose to ban Illinois Self-Excluded Persons from placing sports wagers in jurisdictions outside of Illinois. Regarding casinos, currently persons who enroll in the Illinois Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Program are excluded from all Illinois casinos as well as all casinos and operations owned by Caesar's Entertainment Inc., Boyd Gaming Inc and Penn National Gaming Inc. Caesar's Entertainment is the largest casino company in the world and owns casinos in 14 states. Among Caesar's properties and brands are all Horseshoe, Bally's, Caesars Palace, Flamingo and Showboat casinos. Boyd Gaming owns casinos in Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, and Louisiana. Among Boyd's properties are the Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, IN and the Borgata in Atlantic City. Penn National Gaming owns casinos and racetracks in sixteen states. Among Penn National's properties are The M Resort and Spa Casino in Las Vegas, and Argosy and Hollywood-brand casinos in Iowa, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Who can Self-Exclude? Hide Answer
Anyone can Self-Exclude who has determined they are a problem or compulsive gambler and can no longer gamble responsibly.
Can I Self-Exclude my spouse or significant other from Illinois casinos and sports wagering operations? Hide Answer
No. Self-Exclusion is totally voluntary. A person cannot exclude their spouse or significant other. Those who seek Self-Exclusion must voluntarily complete the Self-Exclusion application in person at a location designated by the Illinois Gaming Board in order to be placed on the Self-Exclusion list.
My significant other told me he/she has enrolled is the IGB Self-Exclusion Program. How do I know if that's true? Hide Answer
The IGB cannot divulge the names of those on the Self-Exclusion List to spouses, significant others or employers. However, all persons who enroll in the IGB Self-Exclusion Program receive a copy of all documents that they sign as part of the enrollment process. Persons who have enrolled in the Self-Exclusion Program who have misplaced or lost copies of these documents may receive new copies only after they contact the Program Director at the IGB's Chicago Office and provide required identification. The Program Director can be reached at (312) 814-8832
My significant other has already signed up for the Illinois Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Program and continues to gamble at the casinos and sports wager. What can I do? Hide Answer
Call the Program Director at 1-877-968-7848 or (312) 814-8832 to report your suspicions and the name of the casino or sports wagering operation where you believe a Self-Excluded person is gambling.
Does it cost anything to Self-Exclude? Hide Answer
All it costs is time. It takes about 30 to 45 minutes to enroll in the Self-Exclusion Program. Persons wishing to Self-Exclude must bring identification, such as a valid driver's license or state issued identification card. Those persons who do not speak English should make arrangements with an English-speaking friend or relative to accompany them to an enrollment site to serve as translator in order to complete the required forms.
If I enroll who will know I Self-Excluded? Hide Answer
The records generated by IGB's Self-Exclusion Program are strictly confidential. In order to facilitate the program's goals the name, Social Security number, home address, Driver's License number, date of birth and a photograph of each Self-Excluded person is shared with the state's casinos and sports wagering operations. The information provided to the Illinois Gaming Board's licensees is used only to enforce the IGB's Self-Exclusion Program.
If I Self-Exclude will the Illinois Gaming Board ever contact me? Hide Answer
All persons who Self-Exclude receive a follow up letter from the Illinois Gaming Board informing them of their SEP (Self-Excluded Person) number. The confidentiality provisions contained in the Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Rule protects all information regarding an enrollee's application. The SEP Number is a personal identification number used to identify placement on the Self-Exclusion List.
What happens if I Self-Exclude and go into an Illinois casino or sports wagering operation? Hide Answer
The Self-Exclusion Program was created to help problem gamblers help themselves. The responsibility for staying out of Illinois casinos and sports wagering locations rests solely on the person who self excludes and not with the Illinois Gaming Board or Illinois casinos or licensed sports wagering operations. If a Self-Excluded person is found on an Illinois casino gambling or placing a sports wager, all chips, tokens and wagering slips clearly in their possession will be confiscated and any funds seized will be donated to one of three Illinois Department of Human Services designated, not-for-profit organizations created to help problem/compulsive gamblers. Those organizations include:
  • Illinois Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling
  • Illinois Institute for AddictionRecovery
A Self-Excluded person must indicate which of the two organizations should receive such a donation at the time of their enrollment. Most importantly, a person who Self-Excludes who re-enters an Illinois casino or sports wagering location faces the distinct possibility of being placed under arrest and charged with trespassing.
I enrolled in the Self-Exclusion Program at the Outreach Foundation for Problem and Compulsive Gamblers. I selected the Outreach Foundation as the recipient of all gambling proceeds if I returned to a gambling establishment. Now that the Outreach Foundation is closed, where will those funds go? Hide Answer
On May 1, 2020 the Outreach Foundation for Problem and Compulsive Gambling shut it's doors forever. Any future Self-Exclusion seizures that designate the Outreach Foundation as a recipient will be forwarded to either the Illinois Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling or the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery. Outreach Foundation designated seizures made on even calendar days will be forwarded to the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling. Outreach Foundation designated seizures on odd calendar days will be forwarded to the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery.
What are the responsibilities of a Self-Excluded Person? Hide Answer
After a person enrolls in the Illinois Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Program it is their responsibility to:
  • Stay out of all Illinois Casinos and sports wagering locations.
  • Inform an Illinois Gaming Board Self-Exclusion Program Director of any change of their address
  • Inform an Illinois Gaming Board Self-Exclusion Program Director if they receive any brochures or letters from an Illinois casino or sports wagering operation.
After I Self-Exclude, will I continue receiving marketing materials from Illinois casinos? Hide Answer
Under the Illinois Gaming Board's Self-Exclusion Rule once a person enrolls in the Self-Exclusion Program their name must be removed from all mailing lists and marketing databases used by Illinois casinos. It may take several weeks however for a person to no longer receive mailings since some mass mailings are scheduled months in advance.
I'm on the Self-Exclusion List. Can I still go to a professional sporting event that offers sports wagering at the stadium or venue? Hide Answer
Yes. However Self-Excluded Persons may not be allowed to enter specific areas of a venue where persons may be allowed to place sports wagers.

Help for Problem Gamblers

Many problem gamblers have found that counseling or seeking help from others has helped them overcome their addiction to gambling. The Illinois Gaming Board recommends that you seek counseling.

Helpful Phone Numbers

Gambling Anonymous National Hotline: (888) GA-HELPS (888-424-3577)
Gambling Assistance Hotline: (800) 522-4700
Gambler's Anonymous (Chicago) (855) 222-5542
Gambler's Anonymous (St. Louis) (314) 647-1111
Gambler's Anonymous (Indianapolis) (317) 382-4950
Gambler's Anonymous (Wisconsin) (414) 299-0901
Gam-Anon (Illinois Hotline) (708) 802-0105
Gam-Anon (Missouri Hotline Kansas City) (816) 545-4368

Helpful Web Sites

DHS Designated Gambling Treatment Providers

The following providers are designated Gambling Treatment Providers by the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.