Thursday, March 21, 2013

New South Wales Expands Multi-Venue Exclusion

New South Wales (NSW) began experimenting with multi-venue exclusions more than one-year ago. Now the system is spreading state-wide, with training being provided to more than 500 gambling industry workers and counsellors this month. Gamblers can exclude from multiple gambling sites either from casino premises, or off-site. Internet-initiated multi-site self-exclusion also is on offer. One interesting (and helpful) feature of NSW self-exclusion is that the excluded gambler can choose to have a friend or relative notified of the self-exclusion agreement -- shades of the referee option in contracts. (Unlike the system in New Zealand, these third-parties cannot initiate the exclusion process -- but NSW casinos can exclude patrons whom they believe are harming their own welfare.) 

As far as I can tell, the minimum period for self-exclusion in New South Wales is six months.  Self-exclusions can be revoked prior to their termination date (though not, presumably, prior to some minimum time period, which again might be six months -- see Appendix E of this fine report).

Punters might choose to exclude from just one venue, despite the multi-site capability. New South Wales also offers premises-specific exclusions at venues licensed for alcohol sales, even if there is no gambling -- these exclusions, of course, are aimed at people who want to control their alcohol consumption. I don't know if Australia has policies that can impose exclusion on those who have a history of alcohol-related offenses. (Britain once imposed an alcohol ban with a clause that allowed the person involved to patronize an alcohol-serving bingo hall, as long as he did not drink there.)