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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

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
Casino Self-exclusion Outline
  • Prototypical model
  • Overview of self-exclusion in Canada
  • Effectiveness of self-exclusion
  • Recommendations on how to improve it
the prototypical programme
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
prototypical programme cont d
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
effectiveness of casino self exclusion
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
recommendation 1 mandatory promotion
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
recommendation 2 irrevocable contracts minimum ban length of 5 years
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
recommendation 3 jurisdictional standardisation and uniformity
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
recommendation 4 extend exclusion to all gaming venues restrict all gambling to gaming venues
Recommendation # 4: Extend exclusion to all gaming venues; restrict 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
recommendation 5 computerised identification checks for enforcing self exclusion
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
recommendation 6 penalties for both venue and gambler upon breach
Recommendation # 6: Penalties for 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
recommendation 7 optional counselling mandatory gambling education seminar
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
recommendation 8 increased training education of employees
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
  • 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