CA Faces Self Exclusion Challenge

December 27, 2017 by

Self Exclusion Service Fails Problem Gamblers

The Ontario government has been criticised for the poor management of their self-exclusion program. This program was introduces as a way to help problem gamblers exert some control over their addiction. With the program, a player can register themselves as a problem gambler on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s website.

Using name and facial recognition technology, the player will be entered into a database shared with licensed casinos. This should be enough to bar the patron from a venue as slot machines and other games have cameras that employ facial recognition technology. Ideally the casino should also have some kind of vetting process in place.

However in a recent investigation by CBC’s program, The 5th Estate, it was found that land based casinos are failing horribly in Ontario to protect its patrons. One gambling addict had registered himself on the Exclusion List 3 times in three years and not once was he stopped from playing at any of OLG’s licensed casinos.

Harsh Criticism Rebuffed

That said, their track record in general has been quite remarkable. They have 20 000 people registered as problem gamblers on the self exclusion service and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Board detect around 3700 people a year in OLG facilities on the register.

Paul Pelizarri, Executive Director of Policy and Social Responsibility said that while their system has been quite successful they are always looking at ways to improve the system to help problem gamblers feel safer.

UK Faces Similar Challenges

Meanwhile in the UK the UKGC is facing a similar battle with their self-exclusion services. In similar circumstances, a BBC reporter went undercover to test the UKGC’s Self Exclusion program. The program targets Fixed odds betting terminals that are quite readily available. The undercover reporter managed to gamble in 19 out of the 21 venues tested.

The investigation was made in an area called Grimsby, which has one of the highest gambling addiction rates in the UK.

This is a worrying report for the UKGC who have done an admirable job in regulating the UK gambling market. Critics have said the self-exclusion program is nothing more than a useless measure that does not protect problem gamblers.

That said the program has much noted success and just as with the OLG’s program, there are many successful cases where the self-exclusion program has been fantastic for problem gamblers. The UKGC surely will redouble their efforts yet again.

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