Saturday, August 4, 2012

Australia, Singapore, Britain Self-Exclusion Updates

(1) Australia continues to develop its program to allow gamblers to self-exclude from many venues simultaneously. They can choose whether to ban themselves from the entire club premises, or those parts of clubs where any gambling takes place, or only the rooms where pokie machines operate. (Self-Exclusion first noted this ongoing process some months ago.) The program was trialled in March, and expanded in New South Wales a couple months later. Australia is not immune from the common problem that the enforcement of self-exclusion agreements is spotty: some excluded patrons manage to gamble in violation of their agreements.

(2) Singapore is thinking of enhancing its problem gambling protections for citizens and permanent residents. "Under the proposed new regulation, any Singaporean (and [permanent resident]) who visits the casino more than five times in a given a month is considered a “high frequency” gambler. It may compel him to show that he is not in financial distress before being allowed to visit it the sixth time." (Casino visits are tracked in the Netherlands, too, and frequent gamblers are approached by staff to help assess the possibility of self-control issues and impose visit limits (see 35-page pdf here).) The linked article also notes that despite hosting only two casinos ("Integrated Resorts"), Singapore gambling revenues exceed those of Las Vegas, trailing only Macau on that metric. Singaporean locals have to pay a per-visit casino entrance fee of about $80, or purchase an annual casino pass for approximately $1600.

(3) The manifold shortcomings of the enforcement of self-exclusion in Britain are noted in this article. A bounty system for staff who identify a self-excluded gambler might be one element of improved enforcement.

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