Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Class Action Back in Play for Ontario's Self-Excluders

A couple years ago Self-Exclusion noted that a Canadian court had refused to certify Ontario's self-excluded casino gamblers as a class for the purpose of a suit against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLGC). The claim is that the OLGC neglected a duty of care to prevent the self-excluded from violating their order by returning to casinos and gambling. (The significant revenue emanating from self-excluded gamblers who continue to gamble certainly could be a spur to mixed motives on the part of casinos or taxation authorities.) The court ruled that individual lawsuits could go forward (and some have been successful, in terms of monetary settlements), but that the circumstances of the self-excluded gamblers were sufficiently diverse that class status was inappropriate. That decision from two years ago was upheld once on appeal -- but now Ontario's highest court has agreed to hear an appeal of the earlier rulings.

In 2011, Ontario rolled out facial recognition systems to help enforce self-exclusion bans.

The responsible gaming section of the OLGC website offers links to some valuable videos discussing self-exclusion, as well as videos aimed at combating common gambling fallacies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Does Self-Exclusion Work?

This post will be updated as more "effectiveness" posts appear. I will put a link to this post on the sidebar, so that people interested in whether self-exclusion works can easily locate the relevant posts.

Does Casino Self-Exclusion Work (V)

Does Casino Self-Exclusion Work? (IV)

Does Casino Self-Exclusion Work? (III)

Does Casino Self-Exclusion Work? (II)

Does Casino Self-Exclusion Work? (I)

Does Internet Gambling Self-Exclusion Work?

All posts with label "effectiveness".

Does Internet Gambling Self-Exclusion Work?

Tobias Hayer and Gerhard Meyer were the source for a previous post on the effectiveness of casino self-exclusion. In 2011, they published an article that looked at self-exclusion from an Austrian internet gambling site (12-page pdf here). Internet gambling, in its currently fragmented state, would seem to be not all that fertile a ground for self-exclusion programs, at least those that apply to but a single e-gaming operator. Instead of having to drive to a different casino (and one owned by a different company), self-excluded e-gamblers would only have to establish an account at a different website. Further, there is some evidence that internet gamblers are more likely than bricks-and-mortar casino players to be problem gamblers. On the other hand, as internet gambling self-exclusion involves no face-to-face meetings, people concerned with their internet gambling behavior might be less shy than terrestrial gamblers about seeking out self-exclusion. (There are various routes to broader self-exclusion from internet gambling, too.)

Hayer and Meyer find that self-exclusion from a single internet casino tends to work, in the sense that gambling frequency, amounts, and problems decline following self-exclusion. The number of self-excluded gamblers who participated in the follow-up surveys is fairly small, so the results should not be relied upon too heavily. Nonetheless, the results are consistent with what we know about land-based exclusions, as well as our rudimentary pre-existing knowledge of web-gambling exclusion: internet self-exclusion seems to lead to reduced gambling problems.

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.