GambleAware Program is Working
GambleAware, a charity organization dedicating itself to assisting those who identify as problem[ed] gamblers put out a report regarding an effective way to curb gambling. The group followed individuals who identified themselves voluntarily excluding themselves from gambling venues for a stated time period. The “Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Scheme (MOSES)” project was initiated by the gambling industry but worked in collaboration with Gamble Aware and another group named “Senet.”
About 3,500 people from the UK participated in the study. The results found that all but 7 percent of those who registered refrained from gambling while participating in the program. Almost a third of the group wasn't completely able to stay away from the venues they identified and an astounding 71 percent reported being successful and didn't attempt to return to the venues they identified. The group who attempted to gamble by an overwhelming majority stated they were to blame for the attempt(s).
While it's acknowledged that the project would be considered a success a few issues were identified by the participants. The biggest challenge was that the gamblers were still able to go to places that they were not registered for exclusion. The process also was challenging for casino employees as they were only able to identify participants by facial recognition and a list they were provided. This is of course, problematic due to the venues having constant traffic and not always being able to catch the problem in time. The other identified issue was that online gambling and other forms of gambling were still accessible to the group as well. Despite these issues, the gamblers and groups considered the project to be a success.
Gamblers who identified themselves are required to meet several criteria to be accepted into the program. According to Be Gamble Aware, the multi-operator self- exclusion schemes work in the following respect(s):
- Minimum 6-12 month exclusion period
- Supply proof of identity and photo
- Removal from all marketing campaigns
- No reversing exclusion before expiration date
- Expiration of exclusion doesn't add you to mailing lists for promotions
If the gambler violates the agreement they attempt to assist the gambler and report the violation to other venues within the specific scheme. The gamblers agreed that they understand the exclusion at sign-up only includes operations within the scheme and that they agree to not attempt to gamble. The group also provides numerous resources to the gamblers such as a hotline for help and information to help identify if someone may have a gambling problem.
While successful, the issues identified by both the gamblers, the groups coordinating the study and the casino operators themselves have recognized the program isn't perfect. Being a step in the right direction, this is a good start to help those who may be struggling with a gambling addiction on their way to recovery.