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7 Self-exclusion

Work on multi-operator self-exclusion schemes is well advanced.

UK land-based casino operators already have one in place (SENSE).  The Gambling Commission has indicated it expects analogous schemes to be in place by April 2016 for other forms of land-based gambling, and by the end of 2017 for the remote sector. Depending on progress, the Commission may need to explore the desirability, practicality and cost-effectiveness of linking schemes across different parts of the industry.

For non-remote play, the effectiveness of the schemes will depend on the vigilance of local staff and the extent they are equipped with systems that are well-designed and practical. Pilots suggest schemes are likely to be more effective if they relate to defined local areas, rather than to the entire country.

It seems likely that the number of people affected by multi-operator schemes will be fairly small relative to the total number of problem gamblers. But self-excluders are a group of people who have, by definition, taken a step to recognise that they may have a problem, and are in need of support.

Research by the Gambling Commission has found low awareness amongst gamblers of the possibility of self-exclusion (Publication pending).  Levels of awareness need to be improved if multi-operator schemes are to deliver maximum benefit.

Lead responsibility: Gambling operators, working with their trade associations and the Gambling Commission, with support from the Responsible Gambling Trust.

Indicative timescale: Schemes to be in place by April 2016 for land-based gambling and by the end of 2017 for remote gambling.

Indicators of success: Schemes in place and followed by evaluations designed to improve their effectiveness and assess the extent they are effective at reducing gambling-related harm and not, for example, simply displacing activity into other forms of gambling. We would also hope to see improvements in levels of awareness amongst gamblers of the possibility of self-exclusion.

Relevant to: Priority objective I.