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Casino Self-exclusion Programmes: A Review of the Issues. Nadine Nowatzki and Robert Williams Alberta Gaming Research Institute University of Lethbridge Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Casino Self-exclusion Outline. Prototypical model Overview of self-exclusion in Canada

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Casino self exclusion programmes a review of the issues l.jpg

Casino Self-exclusion Programmes: A Review of the Issues

Nadine Nowatzki and Robert Williams

Alberta Gaming Research Institute

University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada


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Casino Self-exclusion Outline

  • Prototypical model

  • Overview of self-exclusion in Canada

  • Effectiveness of self-exclusion

  • Recommendations on how to improve it


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The Prototypical Programme

  • Pamphlets and/or website explain programme

  • Individuals can sign up at casinos

    • Fill out application and have photo taken

    • Are advised that help is available

  • May apply to all casinos in jurisdiction, does not apply to other gambling venues

  • Names and photographs of individuals are distributed to casinos in jurisdiction


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Prototypical Programme, Cont’d

  • Individuals removed from mailing lists

  • Casinos refer to list before issuing player cards, cashing cheques, paying jackpots, etc

  • Usually irrevocable, requirements for re-entry vary

  • Self-exclusion enforced by security personnel

  • Violation of contract may result in trespass charge

  • Many casinos also have involuntary exclusion lists



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Effectiveness of Casino Self-exclusion

  • Requires person to admit to problem

  • No way of knowing how many individuals re-enter casino during time of exclusion

  • Does not apply to other forms of legal/illegal gambling

  • Ladouceur et al (2000)- 30% of participants completely stopped gambling once excluded

  • Netherlands- 40% of problem gamblers were reached by Holland casino prevention policy

  • Overall utilisation rates in Canada are between .4% and 1.5% for problem gamblers


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Recommendation #1: Mandatory Promotion

  • Promotion in many venues is not visible, and where present is promoted indirectly

  • Previous studies indicate that many people are not aware of its existence

  • Some casinos do not take requests for self-exclusion seriously


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Recommendation # 2: Irrevocable Contracts, Minimum Ban Length of 5 Years

  • Self-exclusion has little value if individuals can revoke contract

  • Substance abuse literature supports longer periods to prevent relapse

  • Evidence that patrons prefer longer, irrevocable contracts


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Recommendation # 3: Jurisdictional Standardisation and Uniformity

  • In parts of Europe: self-exclusion applies to all casinos in the country

  • In Canada: province-wide (except Québec)

  • In parts of USA: each venue within a jurisdiction could have a unique list

  • Patrons should not have to enter casino to sign-up or renew self-exclusion


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Recommendation # 4: Extend exclusion to all gaming venues; Uniformityrestrict all gambling to gaming venues

  • Large amount of gambling takes place outside of casinos

  • Apply self-exclusion to other venues:

    Bingo halls, racetracks, online gaming, etc

  • Remove electronic gaming machines from non-gaming venues


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Recommendation # 5: Computerised Identification Checks for Enforcing Self-exclusion

  • Weakness of security: many self-excludees are easily able to enter venues

    • Excludees often try to change their appearance

    • As number of excludees increases, enforcement becomes more difficult for security staff

  • Holland casino: mandatory identification and registration in computerised database results in instant detection


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Recommendation # 6: Penalties Enforcing Self-exclusionfor Both Venue and Gambler Upon Breach

  • Gamblers should face penalty: must take responsibility for actions.

    • Trespass charge provides deterrent

  • Venues should face financial penalty to ensure compliance

  • With computerised registration, this issue is irrelevant


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Recommendation # 7: Optional Counselling & Mandatory Gambling Education Seminar

  • Mandatory counselling may not work

    • self-motivation and willingness to participate are important in recovery

  • Responsible gambling awareness seminar (as in Manitoba):

    • review of past gambling history, info on how gambling works, plan for returning to gamble


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Recommendation # 8: Increased Training & Education of Employees

  • To recognize and approach problem gamblers

    • Easier to treat problems at earlier stages

  • The Netherlands: computerised registration monitors visiting frequency of guests, provides notification upon increases

    • Staff approach guest upon sudden increase

    • Self-exclusion or visit limitation may be recommended

    • Many problem gamblers do not believe they have a problem- important to be proactive


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Conclusions Employees

  • Self-exclusion has the potential to be an effective tool for assisting problem gamblers

  • Existing programmes a step in the right direction but need to be improved

  • ‘Philosophy’ behind responsible gaming different in North America

  • More research is needed on these programs

  • Holland Casino: successful prevention of problem gambling not an obstacle to profit


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