Vice Squad
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Making Self-Exclusion Work Better

While Vice Squad is a big proponent of the principle of vice self-exclusion programs, the practice in US casinos leaves much to be desired. It seems to be relatively easy, for instance, for some self-excluded gamblers to return to a casino without much hindrance. A check of IDs for all gamblers, or a more universal use of smart cards that hook into gambling machines, might help to make self-exclusion programs more reliable.

One of the standard features of a self-exclusion program is that someone who has volunteered to join the excluded ranks is removed from the list of those who are sent promotional material. This is another area of slippage between theory and practice, apparently. The Illinois Gaming Board is fining a casino $800,000 for not sealing off the self-excluded from marketing appeals. The same casino received a $600,000 fine for similar activities two years ago. I would think that these significant fines will concentrate casino minds on providing a more effective barrier between their promotions and self-excluded gamblers.

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