Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Making Self-Exclusion Work Better

While Vice Squad is a big proponent of the principle of vice self-exclusion programs, the practice in US casinos leaves much to be desired. It seems to be relatively easy, for instance, for some self-excluded gamblers to return to a casino without much hindrance. A check of IDs for all gamblers, or a more universal use of smart cards that hook into gambling machines, might help to make self-exclusion programs more reliable.

One of the standard features of a self-exclusion program is that someone who has volunteered to join the excluded ranks is removed from the list of those who are sent promotional material. This is another area of slippage between theory and practice, apparently. The Illinois Gaming Board is fining a casino $800,000 for not sealing off the self-excluded from marketing appeals. The same casino received a $600,000 fine for similar activities two years ago. I would think that these significant fines will concentrate casino minds on providing a more effective barrier between their promotions and self-excluded gamblers.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hey, I Am Not That Self-Exclusion Guy...

...I am a different self-exclusion guy. Recently, a man from Delaware wanted to remove himself from Atlantic City's gambling self-exclusion list, in part because he found that the privately-owned AC casinos also barred him from their establishments in other locales. There was a fair amount of media (and Vice Squad?) coverage of his case, which he lost, but the excluded gambler was identified only by his initials. It turns out that initials are not like fingerprints, one unique set per person. (Maybe fingerprints are not like fingerprints, either.) A man in Florida has same the initials as the fellow excluded from Atlantic City casinos -- and the Floridian is none too pleased about the publicity surrounding the case. Seems that people keep suspecting that he (the Florida man) is the current litigant -- though he is not. Those folks might be confused because, in addition to the eerie initial coincidence, the Florida man is a known gambler and a former self-excluder, having signed up for a one-year ban in 2003. How to end the confusion? The Florida man wants the court to release the full name of the litigant. But full names are not unique, either....

I like to think of myself as the Self-Exclusion Guy.

Sorry for disappearing under the blogoscope. My temporary relocation has made it hard to participate in Web 2.0.