Wednesday 8 February 2012
CLUBS LAUNCH ONLINE SUPPORTFOR PROBLEM GAMBLERS
With just the click of a button, problem gamblers living anywhere in NSW will be able to usea secure website to ban themselves from their local clubs.Roll-out of the online technology commences today on the NSW Far North Coast withtraining for club staff and local gambling counsellors.The technology allows problem gamblers to complete a legally binding self exclusiondocument in the presence of a gambling counsellor or a trained facilitator at their local club.Previously the individual had to visit each club individually.Additionally, the problem gambler can now choose to ban themselves from multiple clubsrather than the time consuming process of visiting each venue and repeating the processtime and again.Problem gamblers are provided with the following self-exclusion options:
banning from the club
banning from any area of the club with poker machines
banning from any area of the club where gambling takes place such as poker machines, Keno and ClubTAB.Development of the multi-venue self exclusion system will be expanded across the Stateover the next 12 months and comes after 18 months development by ClubsNSW.The rollout of the program follows a 6 month trial of the online system in 51 clubs in BrokenHill and the Central Coast. The respective trials were overseen by counsellors employed byLifeline and UnitingCare Unifam.The online system – the first of its kind in Australia – will be provided to NSW clubs andgambling counsellors to assist their clients free of charge.ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said self exclusion in combination with counselling is the bestway of helping problem gamblers beat their addiction.“During the 6 month trial 136 problem gamblers chose to ban themselves from a combined569 clubs in Broken Hill and the Central Coast. Under the previous system, it could havetaken weeks or even months for a problem gambler to visit each of those clubs and informthe staff they wanted to be banned from gambling.“Self exclusion was introduced by clubs and hotels in NSW in 2000, with an estimated 3,000people opting to ban themselves from a club or hotel each year. Clubs and hotels aresubject to significant financial penalties if they knowingly allow a person to breach their self-exclusion.