Are there distinctive outcomes from self-exclusion? An exploratory study comparing gamblers who have self-excluded, received counselling, or both

Nerilee Hing, Southern Cross University
Alex Russell, Southern Cross University
Barry Tolchard, University of New England
Elaine Nuske, Southern Cross University


Research has not determined whether typical improvements in psychosocial functioning following self-exclusion are due to the intervention. This study aimed to explore distinctive outcomes from self-exclusion by assessing outcomes between 1) self-excluders who had and had not received gambling counselling and 2) self-excluders compared to non-self-excluders who had received gambling counselling. A longitudinal design administered three assessments on gambling behaviour, problem gambling severity, gambling urge, alcoholism, general health, and harmful consequences. Of the 86 participants at Time 1 with similar baseline scores, 59.3 % completed all assessments. By Time 2, all groups (self-excluded only, self-excluded plus counselling, counselling only) had vastly improved on most outcome measures. Improvements were sustained at Time 3. Outcomes did not differ for self-exclusion combined with counselling. Compared to non-excluders, more self-excluders abstained from most problematic gambling form and fewer had harmful consequences. Findings suggest self-exclusion may have similar short-term outcomes to counselling alone and may reduce harm in the short-term.