PokerStars Responsible Gaming

Mission statement

PokerStars is committed to responsible gaming, and is dedicated to an enjoyable and positive gaming experience for all of our players. Most people play online for fun and entertainment, but we recognize that a small percentage of people will:

1. Attempt to play when they’re underage, or
2. Allow playing online to control them and affect their lives.

The people of PokerStars are committed to assisting and protecting those who should not be playing online at all, or who wish to limit the amount that they play.

Age verification

Underage gambling is a criminal offense and anyone who facilitates someone under the age of 21 to gamble has committed a criminal offense and shall be prohibited from Internet gaming.

Any underage player who has provided dishonest or inaccurate information regarding their true age may have all winnings forfeited and could face criminal prosecution.

What we do

  • Every person signing up for a new account at PokerStars must check a box that indicates that they are at least 21 years of age. This notifies everybody that we don’t accept players under 21.
  • When a player creates an account with PokerStars, we collect their name, address, Social Security Number (SSN) and birth date to confirm that the player is at least 21 years old.
  • PokerStars does not target underage players with our marketing and advertising. It is neither good business nor consistent with our personal and corporate values to attract underage players.

What you can do

  • Be sure to protect your computer. All Windows computers can be set up to have password control so that you must enter a password to get to the desktop. In general, this is a good practice, but it’s even more important when there are children or teenagers in your household. Also, keep your PokerStars screen name and password private. You can elect to have the PokerStars software not remember your password each time you log into PokerStars. If you have any concern that somebody else might attempt to access your PokerStars account, you should not allow the PokerStars software to remember your password.
  • If you have children or teenagers in your household, use protection software that allows you to limit the websites to which they have access, prevent file sharing, and generally give you detailed control over how your children use the Internet. Here is a list of some of those programs:
  • If you are aware of an underage person using PokerStars software, let us know. Simply send an email to support@pokerstarsnj.com and we will get right on it. Our first step is to investigate, and if warranted, freeze the player’s account and request identification from that player. We take these reports seriously.
  • Be a responsible parent. In many ways, this is nothing more than keeping your eyes and ears open. If you hear your children talking about online  game accounts, deposits, and withdrawals, start asking questions. If you see the PokerStars client on your child's computer, uninstall it and ask more questions. A responsible parent is the best start to preventing underage gaming.

Risk Factors Associated with Gambling and Potential Signs of a Problem Gambler

These are risk factors that can contribute to the development of gambling issues and can make it more difficult to stop gambling. Players can be more at risk if they:

  • Have easy access to their preferred form of gambling
  • Hold mistaken beliefs about the odds of winning – See the section below on “Common Myths about Compulsive Gambling”
  • Do not take precautions to monitor gambling wins and losses
  • Have an early big win (leading to false expectation of future wins)
  • Have had a recent loss or change in their personal life, such as divorce, job loss, retirement, or death of a loved one
  • Often feel bored or lonely, or have a history of risk-taking or impulsive behavior
  • Have financial problems
  • Have a history of mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety
  • Have a parent who also has (or has had) problems with gambling or other compulsive disorders
  • Have (or have had) problems with alcohol or other drugs, gambling, or overspending

The more factors that apply, the more likely a person is to develop a gambling problem.

If you are finding it hard to stop gambling, or if you’re already suffering from consequences related to your gambling behavior, it may be time to get help.

If you believe that playing online might be a hindrance to your life rather than a form of entertainment, we at PokerStars want to help you. First, please review the following questions:

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to playing online?
  2. Has playing online caused you to neglect your own welfare or that of your family?
  3. Have you ever sold anything or borrowed money to finance your playing?
  4. Have you often played until your last dollar was gone?
  5. Have you ever played longer than you had planned?
  6. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your playing?

If you answered “Yes” to several of these questions, we encourage you to visit Gamblers Anonymous.

You can take the test in its entirety at one of the following websites:

http://www.gamcare.org.uk/get-advice/self-assessment-tool/
www.ncpgambling.org/i4a/survey/survey.cfm?id=6

Self-exclusion

We provide you with the ability to exclude yourself from playing on PokerStars for various periods of time. To do this, go to the main lobby of the PokerStars software, select ‘Tools’, then ‘Responsible Gaming’, and then ‘Exclude me from playing.’

Please note that all self-exclusions and time outs are irreversible for the duration of the specified time. Your self-exclusion will apply to your Stars Account, and to any product in the Rational Group that requires your Stars ID to play.

  • We offer 3-day, 7-day, 30-day, 60-day, 120-day and 180 day time out periods. You will not be able to play cash games, one-table tournaments or multi-table tournaments on PokerStars. You will not be able to play or use any other products such as Casino games. Once you request a time out or a self-exclusion period, you will be asked to close all tables at which you're playing. Once you've done that, the time out or self-exclusion period will begin. You will be automatically unregistered from any tournament that begins during the time out and self-exclusion period.
  • Furthermore, you will not receive any marketing emails or newsletters from PokerStars.
  • 180-day time out. This is identical to the other time out periods, except that we will ask you to withdraw any real money funds from your PokerStars account. In addition, you will not be automatically reinstated. If you want to return to playing on PokerStars, you can email support@pokerstarsnj.com any time after your self-exclusion period has passed.
  • Self-exclusions longer than 6 months, and permanent self-exclusions. If you wish to self-exclude yourself longer than 6 months, or permanently self-exclude yourself, please contact support@pokerstarsnj.com, and also follow the procedure listed below.
  • Players who self-exclude themselves during a tournament will nevertheless still be able to complete any tournament already in progress in which they are playing. This also means that players who request to be self-excluded from playing on after qualifying for Day 2 of a Multi-Day Tournament will still be able to play in that tournament on any subsequent day of that tournament, even after their period of self-exclusion begins. Players who choose not to play on subsequent days will receive no compensation. This does not apply to phased tournaments, so make sure you can play the tournament in its entirety before entering the first phase.

If you use a Windows or Mac computer and wish to self-exclude from all online gambling activity, consider downloading gamban®, software that helps you by blocking access to all online gambling.

Internet Gaming Self-Exclusion (IGSE)

If you wish to self-excluded yourself for a longer duration, you must complete the Internet Gaming Self-Exclusion Sign-Up Procedure. This is a mandatory requirement by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Players will have the option of choosing a 1-year or 5-year exclusion period. Upon clicking either of these options within the Self-Exclusion feature, you will be re-directed to the Internet Gaming Self-Exclusion Form which must be completed in full.

Upon full completion, you will be presented with the option to Print your form and Submit it. After clicking Submit, a final confirmation with your account password will complete the process.
Your submission will then be sent to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement who will process it at the earliest convenience.

We encourage players who plan to self-exclude themselves to withdraw the remaining funds in their account via their preferred payment method before completing the process outlined above.

Important: By entering into a 1-year or 5-year exclusion, you are purposely choosing to exclude yourself from ALL New Jersey Internet Gaming Operators, not just PokerStars. During your self-exclusion period you will not be able to log onto your Stars Account and you will not be able to play in any games. You will not be permitted to access any Internet Gaming Provider or use their services until after you specific exclusion ends and you have requested re-instatement from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

You may also request to begin or end an exclusion by visiting any premises of the New Jersey Racing Commission, including racetracks, during business hours. Any Self-Exclusion is irreversible and cannot be ended early.

Setting your own limits

PokerStars is proud to offer a number of features that all New Jersey players can avail themselves of to help better manage their time, funds, and general poker experience. These are:

  • Self-Imposed Deposit Limits
  • Self-Imposed Playing Time Limits
  • Self-Imposed Spend Limits
  • Self-imposed Tournament and Table Buy-in Limits
  • Self-Imposed Casino Limits

Setting limits on your real money deposits

PokerStars believes that you should be allowed to manage your own budget for playing online poker. We allow you to restrict your own daily, weekly, and monthly real money deposit limits. Of course, those limits may be no higher than the ones we already have for your account. Just go to the lobby, choose ’Tools’, then ‘Responsible Gaming’, and then select ‘Restrict Deposit Limit’.

Restricting cash game table and tournament limits, Casino limits, spend limits, and playing time limits

Setting table limits and tournament limits provide individual players with an opportunity to control their spending by limiting themselves from playing certain table limit stakes, as well as tournament buy-in limits. Go to the lobby, choose ‘Tools’ from the top menu, then select ‘Responsible Gaming’ and then ‘Restrict Table Limit’ or ‘Restrict Tournament Limit’.

Managing your bankroll is one of the most import aspects of online gaming. Using our Spend Limits feature, you can choose how much of your balance and funds you use on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The limits you select are cumulative, so all games, tournaments, or tables you join throughout the day will count towards your limit. To choose this option, go to the lobby and choose ‘Tools’ from the menu, then select ‘Responsible Gaming’ and then ‘Restrict Spend Limit’.

You may also wish to investigate GamBlock, a software application that limits a computer’s access to online gaming sites.

At any time, players can request a report which lists all the Self-Imposed Limits changes that have taken place on their account. To do this, simply choose ‘Responsible Gaming History Audit’ within the ‘Responsible Gaming’ option found in the ‘Tools’ menu.

How to play online responsibly

If you choose to play online, here are some general guidelines that can help make your online playing experience safer, and reduce the risk of problems occurring:

  1. Play for entertainment, and not as a way of making money.
  2. Play with money that you can afford to lose. Never use money that you need for important things such as food, rent, bills, or tuition.
  3. Set deposit limits. Use our ‘Restrict Deposit Limit’ feature. Never deposit more than you can afford to lose.
  4. Never chase losses. If you lose money, don't play higher stakes to try and recoup your losses.
  5. Don't play online when you are upset, tired, or depressed. It is difficult to make good decisions when you are feeling down.
  6. Balance playing online with other activities. Find other forms of entertainment so playing online does not become too big a part of your life.

If you feel you might have a gambling problem, and seek further advice or counselling, you can visit these web sites:

Common Myths about Compulsive Gambling

We tell our players that they should play for fun and entertainment. But some players who engage in recreational gambling do not believe they could become addicted, and sometimes hold onto false beliefs or myths about problem gambling that can lead to denial and other problems. Some of the more common myths are listed below:

Myth: A compulsive gambler gambles every day.
Fact: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. If a person’s gambling is causing psychological, financial, emotional, marital, legal or other consequences for themselves and the people around them, then they could be displaying signs of a gambling problem.

Myth: A compulsive gambler will bet on anything and gamble at any opportunity on any form of gambling.
Fact: Most problem gamblers have a favorite form of gambling that causes them problems and are not likely to be tempted by betting on other things. For example, a gambler who makes weekly trips to the race track may not be tempted by lottery tickets or slot machines. Some gamblers also engage in secondary forms of gambling, but these are not usually as problematic.

Myth: Gambling only becomes a problem when you lose every last penny. Compulsive gambling is just a financial problem.
Fact: How much money you win or lose does not determine if you have a gambling addiction. Gamblers may win big and then lose all their earnings the next day, or they may only bet a certain amount each time. Typically, gamblers will incur enough debt that the financial consequences of their behavior begins impacting their lives, but that is not always the case.

Myth: It’s not possible to become addicted to something like gambling.
Fact: Certain activities, such as gambling, are just as addictive as drinking or doing drugs. Gambling may produce a euphoria that encourages the gambler to keep repeating the behavior to achieve that effect. As with drugs and alcohol, the gambler develops a tolerance for gambling and will take bigger and bigger risks to achieve that euphoria. A gambler will give in to a craving for gambling by doing it more often, regardless of the negative consequences. As with any other addictions and compulsive behaviors, pathological gamblers may also be in denial about their behaviors, and may not believe they have a problem at all.

Myth: Only irresponsible people become addicted to gambling.
Fact: Many problem gamblers hold, or have held, responsible community positions. In addition, even people with a long history of responsible behavior are vulnerable to developing a gambling problem. It is common for people to believe that those suffering from addictions are weak-willed and irresponsible. But anybody can become addicted to gambling, no matter how responsible they are.

Myth: Compulsive gambling isn’t really a problem if the gambler can afford it. 
Fact: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. If a person’s gambling is interfering with their ability to act in accordance with their values, then there is a problem. For example, too much time spent on gambling means less time to spend with family, friends and others. It can lead to relationship breakdown and loss of important friendships.

Myth: It’s easy to recognize a compulsive gambler.
Fact: Problem gambling has been called the hidden addiction. It is very easy to hide as it has few recognizable symptoms, unlike alcohol and drug use. Many problem gamblers themselves do not recognize they have a gambling problem. Problem gamblers often engage in self-denial.

Myth: If I keep gambling in a casino, my luck will change and I'll win back the money I've lost.
Fact: Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. This means that the odds are no more in your favour on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Over time, the more you risk, the more you’ll lose.

Myth: I have a feeling that today is my lucky day. I just know I’m going to win.
Fact: Hoping, wishing, or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance. 

If any of these myths are realities for you or a loved one, it may be necessary to consider seeking treatment for a gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-Gambler.

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