Monday, May 21, 2012

Aussie Responsible Gambling Awareness Week

Australians gamble more than just about anyone else; click on the chart at this link for some flavor of the data. Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Australia ended on May 20; here's some information from Victoria, with links at the bottom to activities in other states. Presumably because of the Awareness Week, media reports on problem gambling in Australia are blossoming: from NPR, and from some Aussie sources, too. In Tasmania, there is a move afoot to limit pokie bets to $1 per play. A gambling addict gave evidence on the $1 limit to a legislative committee. "He recommended the committee spend an hour inside a poker machine room at a pub or club. 'Watch them leave their souls at the door,' he said." One Tasmanian gambling reformer suggests a little physical nudge: don't let pokie players sit down.

Ohio Casino Self-Exclusion Kicks Off...

...and it has its first client: "He has proudly framed his letter from the commission notifying him that he’s barred from the casinos. He keeps it next to a photo of his deceased father, who had urged him to stop gambling." He has remained bet-free for more than 500 days.

The Ohio program allows gamblers to exclude for one year, five years, or for life. People who violate their exclusion order are subject to arrest and the loss of any winnings. When an exclusion order serves its time and expires, the reinstatement of gambling privileges requires that the gambler take the positive step of filling out a form to request reinstatement -- the default is continued exclusion. Sounds to me like Ohio has a good set of self-exclusion regulations.

The linked article indicates that Caesars Entertainment, which is operating the just-opened Cleveland casino, offers its own self-restriction program, along with self-exclusion. Self-restriction prevents the gambler from receiving marketing materials, and enjoins the casino from offering services such as credit or cashing checks to restricted customers. It appears that restrictees can choose more constraining rules, too.