Recent research has indicated that more than 70 percent of young people between 14 and 25 years old are involved in gambling activities. For every five gamblers, two are struggling with gambling addiction. This has led to gambling rising to seventh-most-common form of addiction in the world.
Just like any other addicts, gambling addicts need help from their family and community at large. Several steps have been taken to curb this problem, including age limitation, recovery centers, mass education and a self–exclusion policy. There are also lots of organizations that have been established to promote responsible gambling, including GamCare, UK Gambling Commission and Group for Responsible Gambling. Over recent years, the self-exclusion policy has proven to be one of the most effective ways of dealing with gambling addiction.
What Is Self-Exclusion?
Self-exclusion refers to the action taken by a punter to distance his or herself from any gambling premises or sites. To do so, the casino player sends a request to gambling provider to be included in their self-exclusion list. Comparison sites like thecasinosites.com provide detailed reviews containing important T&Cs. Upon application, the punter is requested to submit a photo for identification and other personal details. In most countries such as Britain, South Africa and America, all gambling providers are required by the law to provide a self-exclusion option for all clients.
Once the person is added to this list, he or she is banned from all gambling activities covered by the self-exclusion policy for not less than six months. Most of these self- exclusion schemes extend to a period of one year.
Joining the self-exclusion policy allows the gambling providers to refuse the applicant access to their physical gambling establishment, online casino and mobile casino. It gives the casino the right to send them away or stop them when they try to access gambling premises. Once in the list, your casino account will be deactivated and you won’t be allowed to create new accounts before the self–exclusion time is over. In some countries, people in the self-exclusion list are charged with trespassing or forced to pay fines if found taking part in a gambling activity.
Recently a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme has been set up. This scheme is expected to involve multiple if not all online gambling sites so as to offer self-exclusion service to online gamblers
Is Self-Exclusion Effective?
It is impossible for gambling sites and premises to completely keep a punter from gambling. The effectiveness of the self-exclusion policy is highly dependent on the gambler’s commitment. To help improve effectiveness of the policy, anyone in the list who is able to access gambling premises or website is requested to report that incident to the respective authority, detailing how they managed to access the premises without getting identified.
Though this policy has faced criticism from many organizations and people, the number of people it has helped overcome this addiction cannot be taken for granted. It is the hope of the gambling regulation bodies that more people will enroll and commit themselves fully to self-exclusion.