You can register online to ban yourself from entering a Maine casino for one year, three years, five years or for a lifetime.
People play slots at Hollywood Casino in Bangor on Jan. 22, 2016. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

If gambling is causing problems for you or a loved one, you can contact Maine’s problem gambling helpline 24/7 by calling 211 or texting your ZIP code to 898-211.

To coincide with March being Problem Gambling Awareness Month, Maine’s Gambling Control Board announced Tuesday a new virtual program allowing people to voluntarily ban themselves from gambling in Maine casinos.

People who enter into the program can place a one-year, three-year, five-year or lifetime ban on themselves.

Before this virtual option was made available, a person would have to walk into a casino or other designated location in the community to fill out the form. With the new virtual option, you don’t have to leave your house to register, according to the Gambling Control Board.

A recent study found that 79 percent of Mainers gambled in the past year. Two percent spent money at a casino weekly or more often, according to the Gambling Control Board.

One percent of U.S. adults are estimated to meet the criteria for severe gambling problems. Another 2 to 3 percent experience mild or moderate gambling problems, which means their gambling is causing problems affecting their professional and personal lives, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

To access virtual self-exclusion, contact AdCare at 207-626-3615 ext. 20 or email