The self-exclusion experience for problem gamblers in South Australia

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Publication details

Hing, N & Nuske, E 2011, 'The self-exclusion experience for problem gamblers in South Australia', Australian Social Work, vol. 65, no. 4, pp. 457-473.

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Increased prevalence of problem gambling has accompanied the spread of gaming venuesin many parts of the world. One intervention to minimise the impact of harmful patternsof gambling behaviours is self-exclusion, where patrons can elect to ban themselves froma gaming venue or its gaming facilities for a specified time period. While self-exclusionprograms are widely available, little research has been conducted into their operationsand efficacy, particularly from the self-excluders’ perspective. This paper presents findingsfrom 35 survey responses and 23 interviews with gamblers who had self-excludedthrough a centralised service in South Australia. They identified key programshortcomings as low publicity, limits on how many venues they could self-bar from,and inadequate venue monitoring for breaches of self-barring orders. Nevertheless, thecentralised service, staffed by trained psychologists and located away from gamingvenues, which allows multiple venue barring in one application, appeared advantageousover programs that require people to self-exclude directly from individual gaming venues. Most respondents (85%) had ceased or lessened their gambling in the 12 monthsfollowing self-barring. Nevertheless, some continued to struggle to manage theirgambling, reflected in breaches of their orders and gambling in venues from which theywere not excluded.

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