Idea for combatting problem gambling

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MichaelBluejay

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I know many people are unconcerned with problem gambling, and dismiss the idea by blaming the gambler for not having more self-control. There are two powerful arguments against that. First, in recent years psychological research has demonstrated conclusively that the part of the brain responsible for controlling impulsive behavior is typically underdeveloped or non-functioning in people suffering from a host of addictions, including gambling. In short, it's kind of unfair to blame people for addiction when they don't have the ability to control it the way you or I do. Second, gambling addiction affects more than just the gambler, it affects his/her spouses, children, and often employers. Whatever one thinks of the culpability of the gambler, the innocent bystanders are surely victims.

So, how to combat problem gambling? My idea is simple: When registering at a casino, a player sets daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly loss limits, which the casino is bound to respect. That's easy to enforce online; for land casinos, it would require that you must use your card in order to play, whether table games or slots. Though that's not currently the practice, it isn't such a far-fetched idea. You have to show ID to buy alcohol, you have to be licensed to drive a car, so in order to engage in an activity that has demonstrable negative societal effects for a portion of the population, requiring the use of a player's card is eminently reasonable. It's a downside, sure, but the benefit derived from it is surely much greater. I'd agree in a heartbeat, because it's better for society.

There are many details that would need to be worked out, but they're not show-stoppers, such as making sure the self-imposed limits are reasonable for the player's income and wealth level. And while no solution about that will be perfect, it doesn't have to be: As long as it *usually* works, that's the point. There's the old saying, "The perfect is the enemy of the good," meaning that people often oppose a reasonable improvement just because the suggestion isn't foolproof.

Casinos would never do this voluntarily, because it would cut into their profits. After all, if they wanted to implement something like this, they would have already, since there was nothing stopping them. That means that it would take government law to make it happen.

What do you all think about this?
 

goatwack

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I was never enamoured with the UKGC's clampdown on regulating how we play, given that gamblers value their autonomy when it comes to losing.

Having taken a step back from the gambling, I can see how this would be a useful idea personally. Problem gambling and gambling most of your spare money aren't that far apart, and people around you get affected directly or indirectly, there's no denying it!

I'm sure there are many that don't budget and just gamble 'As and when', which is never good. I'd like to think that filtering one's limits from the outset would only be a positive move. This is RG implemented properly, though I can't see casinos rolling this idea out anytime soon :cool:
 

brianmon

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I know many people are unconcerned with problem gambling, and dismiss the idea by blaming the gambler for not having more self-control. There are two powerful arguments against that. First, in recent years psychological research has demonstrated conclusively that the part of the brain responsible for controlling impulsive behavior is typically underdeveloped or non-functioning in people suffering from a host of addictions, including gambling. In short, it's kind of unfair to blame people for addiction when they don't have the ability to control it the way you or I do. Second, gambling addiction affects more than just the gambler, it affects his/her spouses, children, and often employers. Whatever one thinks of the culpability of the gambler, the innocent bystanders are surely victims.

So, how to combat problem gambling? My idea is simple: When registering at a casino, a player sets daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly loss limits, which the casino is bound to respect. That's easy to enforce online; for land casinos, it would require that you must use your card in order to play, whether table games or slots. Though that's not currently the practice, it isn't such a far-fetched idea. You have to show ID to buy alcohol, you have to be licensed to drive a car, so in order to engage in an activity that has demonstrable negative societal effects for a portion of the population, requiring the use of a player's card is eminently reasonable. It's a downside, sure, but the benefit derived from it is surely much greater. I'd agree in a heartbeat, because it's better for society.

There are many details that would need to be worked out, but they're not show-stoppers, such as making sure the self-imposed limits are reasonable for the player's income and wealth level. And while no solution about that will be perfect, it doesn't have to be: As long as it *usually* works, that's the point. There's the old saying, "The perfect is the enemy of the good," meaning that people often oppose a reasonable improvement just because the suggestion isn't foolproof.

Casinos would never do this voluntarily, because it would cut into their profits. After all, if they wanted to implement something like this, they would have already, since there was nothing stopping them. That means that it would take government law to make it happen.

What do you all think about this?
But if someone's got a gambling problem, and they've reached their limit, especially as far as online casinos are concerned.
Wouldn't they just open an account at a different site?
You appear to be from the States, where the number of online casinos may be limited. But here in Europe there are literally hundreds of online casinos to choose from.

Who decides if "the self-imposed limits are reasonable for the player's income and wealth level"?
Would one have to submit proof of earnings, proof of wealth, bank statements, credit card statements etc to the casino, when joining, and then wait however many days it takes for everything to be checked, before you could actually deposit and play?

As an American player, would you want to send that kind of information to an anonymous office in Curaçao, which is where a large amount of the online sites used by American players are based?

The casinos based in Curaçao aren't even regulated or licensed properly. They operate under a standard business license. I wouldn't trust them with my identification documents, never mind anything else.
 

MichaelBluejay

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Thank you for the replies.

brianmon, about the questions you raised, they're all just details. As I noted in my original post, of course details would need to be worked out. None of them is insurmountable, and we shouldn't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

I won't try to tackle all the questions, because that misses the point. The point is not whether we can come up with a fully-fleshed out idea right now that contains all the details and accounts for all the loopholes. The point is, is this a good idea *in general* that could be made to work after sufficient planning?

But to take one question: "Would one have to submit proof of earnings, proof of wealth, bank statements, credit card statements etc to the casino, when joining, and then wait however many days it takes for everything to be checked, before you could actually deposit and play?"

No, not at the default level for losses, whatever that is. Anyone who wanted to be able to lose more than normal would be obligated to show that they could afford it.
 

brianmon

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Thank you for the replies.

brianmon, about the questions you raised, they're all just details. As I noted in my original post, of course details would need to be worked out. None of them is insurmountable, and we shouldn't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

I won't try to tackle all the questions, because that misses the point. The point is not whether we can come up with a fully-fleshed out idea right now that contains all the details and accounts for all the loopholes. The point is, is this a good idea *in general* that could be made to work after sufficient planning?

But to take one question: "Would one have to submit proof of earnings, proof of wealth, bank statements, credit card statements etc to the casino, when joining, and then wait however many days it takes for everything to be checked, before you could actually deposit and play?"

No, not at the default level for losses, whatever that is. Anyone who wanted to be able to lose more than normal would be obligated to show that they could afford it.
What is the default level for losses?
Who decides that?
Every player will have different levels of wealth and income. What might seem reasonable to a casino and to an average player, could be more than some players could afford to lose.

And like I say.. Each time a player reaches that default limit, they merely join up to a new casino

It's a nice idea in theory. But totally impractical. Any scheme to stop problem gambling would need to be almost water-tight to work, and that will never happen.

It's like the new 'Gamstop' scheme, now operating in the UK. Whereby a player can self-exclude from all casinos who have adopted the scheme from a single point of access, the Gamstop website.
Most, if not all of the 'respectable' casinos have joined the scheme. But not ALL casinos. So now, if someone has self-excluded from all the 'respectable' sites, feels the urge to gamble, they can still access all the dodgy/rip-off sites
 

Stelkin

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Yea, coulda been a good idea If you set a certain loss limit in the casino so the gambler wont put more money in but it will take a toll on the casino itself as you said if they had done so i wish this idea had been supported by the law
I personally think it takes a governmental law to do anything cuz we cant we could have just written an appeal and send it to the governent where we would utter our idea as for casino rule touch ups but guess itll never happen tho
 

Slottery

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What is the default level for losses?
Who decides that?
Some are counted it about countries average incomes (and even can be some country specific differences based on area) which can give you little indicator about incomes, cost of living etc.... More used to trigger SOW requests and also RG signs to interact with player. And yes, there in some village can live some millionaires and people on social ware fare so not really mean to say this would be some silver bull to use statistic methods and data you have collected from your players to spot big differences, make risk assessment and decide if there is need for SOW or interact with player from RG point of view and advise about limits and if SOW not match to incomes, even force to add one until player really can show that level of spending is ok based on current financial situatio (like won in lottery, other casino etc...).

This really don't sort out gambling problem but is in my opinion better way to judge when need to do somethng RG/ML related with player than use lifetime thresholds to trigger it even players level of spending seem to be very reasonable, stable and something you can assume normal person can afford without being involved to crimes or have addiction.

These numbers are available from public sources and these days handling huge amount data with current technology what it wasn't some years ago. For operators this would cause extra work for programming (some back platforms, even built just few years ago are challenging to make changes or new features and as it costs money and don't bring any guess many are not doing it at least yet before realizing that computers can do much things which done manually now and be more effective), planning and how to implement whole process.

Especially now when MGA start to follow more UKGC way with regulations, something like this would be also mandatory to recognize problem gamblers or possible money laundering to complete SOW or other actions when they are appropriate, we all now that in all over the world are big differences what you can get with 100€ or similar amount of relevant currency so just same size don't fit all in this, like life time deposits or deposits in last months.
 

Bloatgoat

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Make the games less addicting, and stop praying on the weakness of mankind in games.
 

Bloatgoat

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Yeah well the moment people realise they are losing serious money on a never ending 'battle' the fun is over quick enough. Gambling is fun but shit at the same time. RTP over a 1.5 billion spins, lol. That is just crazy.
 

Slottery

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Yeah well the moment people realise they are losing serious money on a never ending 'battle' the fun is over quick enough. Gambling is fun but shit at the same time. RTP over a 1.5 billion spins, lol. That is just crazy.
Quite many people are playing for fun and bit excitement with level of spending they can lose. There for sure are people who can't control their gambling, drinking, drug addictions etc.... but would it be best solution to district these from all? There are always people who can't control themselves but majority of people can, i'm quite happy to see that UKGC/MGA are making much more effort to casinos pick these people up early as possible.

Most of people know that RTP in games is less than 100%, sometimes you can be lucky and sometimes very unlucky, i always play games that once i have done deposit, it's lost money and if happen to be lucky to win, then it's exceptional, don't really would like to take this off from all people because of some have problems to control their spending.
 

dunover

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Make the games less addicting, and stop praying on the weakness of mankind in games.
How would you do that? Make the symbols black and white? Make them all low variance? I'd like to hear your suggestions of how to make a game 'less addictive'!
 

brianmon

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Yeah well the moment people realise they are losing serious money on a never ending 'battle' the fun is over quick enough. Gambling is fun but shit at the same time. RTP over a 1.5 billion spins, lol. That is just crazy.
Maybe you don't quite understand how the RTP works.
It doesn't take 1.5 billion spins for a game to reach it's RTP.
The games are tested over billions of spins to, as good as, guarantee that the RTP is what is stated/expected.
A new game could, even run at higher than the expected RTP, but would eventually settle down
 

dunover

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Maybe you don't quite understand how the RTP works.
It doesn't take 1.5 billion spins for a game to reach it's RTP.
The games are tested over billions of spins to, as good as, guarantee that the RTP is what is stated/expected.
A new game could, even run at higher than the expected RTP, but would eventually settle down
Depends on the volatility and complexity of the maths model.
Some games have more reel permutations than 1.5bn like Cashapillar for example.
I'd agree that most games would be far fewer.
 

brianmon

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Depends on the volatility and complexity of the maths model.
Some games have more reel permutations than 1.5bn like Cashapillar for example.
I'd agree that most games would be far fewer.
Agreed. But unless i'm reading his posts in this and other threads wrong. He seems to be under the impression that games don't reach their RTP UNTIL 1.5 billion games have been played. Like the RTP slowly builds up from zero to target RTP, over billions of spins
 

dunover

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Agreed. But unless i'm reading his posts in this and other threads wrong. He seems to be under the impression that games don't reach their RTP UNTIL 1.5 billion games have been played. Like the RTP slowly builds up from zero to target RTP, over billions of spins
LOL....only if you play Netent.
 

trancemonkey

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Make the games less addicting, and stop praying on the weakness of mankind in games.
Every product, whether gambling or cars or food or clothes or whatever... they are all designed to psychologically make you want them. Why are you picking on gambling?
 

snorky510238

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I haven’t read all the posts on this thread so excuse if this has already been said. In reply to the OP whereas your idea is not a bad one, the one thing (and the most important imo) is that the players this would protect are responsible players already as in they want to be responsible for how much they lose. The main problem gamblers are compulsive gamblers who have to gamble whatever the price. They are not interested in limits or responsibilities. You could liken it to an alcoholic being told they can only have 8 pints in their local pub. When the landlord says that’s it they will go to the next pub/off license or wherever they can get a drink. People with a strong addiction don’t do limits. They either carry on as they are or they stop altogether there is no halfway house.
 

Scott1baird

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You can set limits at online casinos deposits and such, the casinos should comply with that, never been to a land based casino there has never been any attraction for me to go to one, membership cards good idea but fatally flawed, reason being you have bookies so would this membership card only work for the machines or would it also have to be applied to all gambling? IE horses football royal baby names and such as there are as dangerous to a problem gambler than just slots, what about you local pop in arcades in the high street? Would these also need to meet the membership card programme? Or what about the family arcades at practicly every seaside town? See the flaw?
 

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