While responsible gambling measures have improved exponentially over the last decade, one of the big problems that remains, is that in most cases, it’s down to a problem gambler to realize they have a problem, and take action.
While some casinos have internal responsible gambling checks in place that can flag-up potential problem gamblers, the system is generally viewed as being ineffective – and that’s one of the reasons why Australia is pushing for a radical (and controversial) piece of legislation, that would enable family members to request their loved ones be banned from casinos and betting establishments.
During a pre-election deal, struck by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Clubs NSW, all gaming venues will be required to assess a customer’s likelihood of problem gambling, if a family members requests them to do so.
This would then trigger an internal “investigation” of sorts, during which the establishment would look at a number of factors to determine whether the person is indeed a problem gambler. If they are, they would be banned from the venue.
The move is a highly-controversial one, but it’s been on the cards for over a decade, and is now gaining traction as a result of Australia’s “gambling epidemic”, as lobbying groups call it.
The decision to allow family members to request banning loved ones raises an important question: should problem gamblers effectively have their free-will taken away from them?
It remains to be seen as to whether the controversial move will work or not – but that’s not all that the Australian Government are doing to protect problem gamblers.
Other new precautions that are set to be put in place, include more rigorous training for employees, helping them to spot signs of problem gambling faster – and gamblers will also be limited to loading machines with $5,000, down from the current cap of $7,500.
The Government has also promised not to raise gambling taxes, should they get rte-elected in March 2019, to help the industry explore new gambling technologies.