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Christie signs bill allowing gamblers to self-exclude without admitting gambling problem

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TRENTON, New Jersey — Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law Thursday that will allow gamblers to ban themselves from casinos or gambling websites without having to admit they have a gambling problem.

The law applies to people who sign up and make the request. Previously, anyone signing up for the self-exclusion list had to attest that they had a gambling problem. Sponsors of the bill have said it will remove some of the stigma of signing up.

"Admitting on a document that you are a problem gambler is a step many New Jerseyans may not be ready to make, even if they are confronting their problem," said Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo (D-Essex). "Many may feel the document is a stigma that can be used against them, but with this option, they can now get some help without having to make that potentially embarrassing admission."

New Jersey lets people choose whether the bans are for one year, five years or life. Nearly 1,600 names are on two lists, one for casino gambling and the other for Internet gambling. Names on the list aren't made public.

Once a person is on the list, casinos must stop marketing to them, and casino employees can refuse to accept wagers from them and ask them to leave a gaming area. If someone on the list gambles, they cannot collect any winnings or recover any losses.

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