Sunday, January 16, 2011
Evaluating Improved Self-Exclusion
The heart of self-exclusion programs is the negative commitment, the ban on gambling at the excluded locales. But someone who volunteers for self-exclusion also is in a position to be informed about treatment options, and access to those options can be eased. (Currently, only a small percentage of problem gamblers, and of self-excluders, receive any formal treatment.) A Montreal casino introduced a reinforced self-exclusion program in 2005, one that included an initial evaluation, monthly phone contacts, and a mandatory meeting before the revocation of the exclusion agreement. The new variant was evaluated by Tremblay, Boutin, and Ladouceur in 2008. Given the option of either a standard self-exclusion program or the "improved" version, a majority of excluders chose the improved version. Their gambling problems decreased significantly, and generally they were quite favorably disposed towards the improved self-exclusion regime.