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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

    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 Calendar Time for Buddy CAG

    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

    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.
    dpp00 and Jasminebed like this.
  6. Aug 14, 2018
  7. MichaelBluejay

    MichaelBluejay Full Member webmeister

    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

    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
  10. Nov 27, 2018
  11. Stelkin

    Stelkin Newbie member

    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
  12. Dec 11, 2018 at 11:41 AM
  13. Slottery

    Slottery Full Member

    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.

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