Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pro-Active Self-Exclusion

A couple weeks ago I mentioned my article in the current Milken Institute Review concerning self-exclusion, those systems available in many casinos whereby you can bar yourself from the premises for some period of time. More than 11,000 people have signed up for lifetime bans from riverboat casinos in the state of Missouri. (The voluntary exclusion applies to all of the state's casino boats.) I think that buyer licenses or self-exclusion programs should be part of the regulatory structure when the currently illicit drugs are re-legalized.

I mention in the Milken article that self-exclusion programs do not have to be passive. Casino employees or representatives of the gambling commission can keep their eye on potential problem gamblers, and hold an impromptu chat with them. (Attendance records and betting information from frequent-player programs also can be put to use for this purpose.) This sort of pro-active mechanism is used at Dutch casinos, and many of those gamblers who are approached for a chat choose to self-exclude. I think that active self-exclusion (and involuntary exclusion for bad actors) might be a good idea when drugs become legal, too, as I note in the Milken piece:
Individuals who misbehave under the influence of the drug would have their licenses revoked, or be involuntarily placed on the excluded list. One could even imagine a requirement of annual evaluations for drug-license holders to determine how they are coping with the drug, and to counsel lower limits, complete self-exclusion or treatment admission for those whose drug use appears to be getting the better of them. That is, self-exclusion could be active, like at Dutch casinos, and drug sellers could be drafted into the activity of barring their best customers – a far cry from their current behavior.
When I first mentioned the Milken article, I noted an unfortunate typo in the second word. I just downloaded a pdf from the website, however, and I find that the typo has been repaired! (Somehow it hadn't occurred to me that this alteration was possible -- in a lifetime of typos, what is one more? -- so I did not contact the relevant authorities.) Bravo, Milken Institute Review!

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