Self-exclusion programs for gambling have been designed so that compulsive gamblers can basically put bans on themselves accessing casinos and the like. Since the introduction of such though, people have constantly questioned how efficient they actually are. And it seems as though evidence to support their inefficiency has been brought to light.
Several gambling addicts within Ontario, who have gone through the self-exclusion process, have still managed to make their way into land-based casino venues to access slot machines. If someone has chosen to self-exclude, the casino should deny them entry to the establishment itself. Yet, it seems as though this practice hasn’t been taking place in several of the casinos in Ontario.
Issues with the System?
It was the Fifth Estate television program that uncovered the issue, pointing out that it is the responsibility of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to ensure that access is denied to anyone who has chosen to self-exclude.
Joe Frieri, a player who chose to participate in the exclusion program, is just one example of the system not working out. In 2008, he found himself burning through CAD$300,000 on slot games at land-based casinos, which was what nudged him to self-exclude. This, he believed, would control his urge to play casino games.
Yet, failures in the way that the system occurs meant that he was able to walk in as if nothing had changed. He wasn’t asked any questions at the casino entrance regarding whether he’d experienced any gambling addiction and was simply allowed to enter the premises on more than 10 occasions.
The Public Doesn’t Agree
The self-exclusion scheme currently works on a facial recognition process, which requires those in the program to give images of themselves. Should one of these players then try entering a casino and be matched up with a self-exclusion image, they should be denied entry. However, the people of Ontario have their own thoughts and feelings towards such a scheme, and they’re not positive ones.
In fact, the program seems to be lacking so much, that many players have attempted to sue the OLG due to it failing them. Yet, little seems to have been done with regards to implementing any kind of changes. Nova Scotia has had the same kind of problems in the past but is now actively attempting to improve its own self-exclusion scheme.
Whether or not Ontario will follow suit and think of some other method by which problem gamblers can self-exclude from casinos, is another question entirely.