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Idea for combatting problem gambling

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by MichaelBluejay, Aug 14, 2018.

    Aug 14, 2018
  1. MichaelBluejay

    MichaelBluejay Full Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Webmaster
    Location:
    In Austin, Texas, man
    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?
     
    Betreels Casino likes this.
  2. Aug 14, 2018
  3. goatwack

    goatwack Denny, two is great, but three is a crowd CAG

    Occupation:
    Stuntman
    Location:
    Londonia
    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:
     
  4. Aug 14, 2018
  5. brianmon

    brianmon Meister Member webby mm4

    Location:
    uk
    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.
     
  6. Aug 14, 2018
  7. MichaelBluejay

    MichaelBluejay Full Member webmeister

    Occupation:
    Webmaster
    Location:
    In Austin, Texas, man
    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.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2018
  9. brianmon

    brianmon Meister Member webby mm4

    Location:
    uk
    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
     

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