Thursday, August 4, 2011

Involuntarily Unwelcome, but not Excluded

Singapore and parts of Australia allow family members to initiate an inquiry that could result in a family member being excluded from casinos. The overriding of individual autonomy makes such programs more objectionable, to my mind, than voluntary self-exclusion programs. In “Handling Corporate Social Responsibility: A Third Way,” (Gaming Law Review and Economics 14(5): 355-361, 2010), William N. Thompson offers a compromise that North American casinos might want to consider. Family members can initiate an inquiry that could result, not in a gambler being excluded, but in a gambler being made to feel unwelcome or worse. (These consequences would be implemented for gamblers whose betting was creating significant harms for him- or her-self or for others.) Such unwelcome folks would be removed from all marketing campaigns, denied credit from the casino, and not allowed to collect large jackpots. (These three sanctions are standard elements of self-exclusion, too.) But the unwelcome would be allowed into casinos. Thompson suggests that toleration of their (unwelcome) presence could be at the discretion of the casinos: "They could be asked to leave casino premises at any time by casino authorities without any legal recourse." If casinos are generally intolerant of the unwelcome visitors, then the compromise begins to look a lot like an involuntary, third-party exclusion.

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