Electronic database of problem gambling in the works

By 7 March, 2013 2

Problem gambling is an odd thing, and a difficult problem to deal with. I spent a rather unfortunate part of my youth working at a Labor club, a business that survived purely on the losings of gamblers. Yes there were memberships, meat raffle tickets, and pints of Tooheys being sold, but these were done generally at a loss. The place existed to make money off gamblers.

Now while there were people who would come in once a fortnight, lose $10 and not care because they enjoyed doing so, there were many more who were there every night. We had our fair share of problem gamblers. I saw people vomiting, pissing, or s***ting at the machines. People leaving their kids outside. Customers going broke, getting angry, then gambling more.

Sadly there wasn’t much the staff could do about it. While the staff have every right to cut off problem drinkers, they were not allowed to stop people gambling. You just don’t have the right.

People have to do it themselves, and this is the problem.

At the moment there is a database that self aware gambling addicts can place themselves on to ban themselves from venues. You can probably see the problems with this system without me having to go on about it.

The latest idea to battle the problem of gambling addiction is to make an electronic version of the aforementioned database to make it easier for venues to check whether their clients have decided to ban themselves.

What Stephen Hawking is to theoretical physics, is what the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is to doing things that sound nice on paper but don’t actually do anything to solve a problem.

They’re brilliant.

News about the database can be found at ABC News.

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2 Responses to Electronic database of problem gambling in the works
#1
johnboy2:51 pm, 07 Mar 13

I particularly like how the clubs can use this to make more money.

They let the problem gambler come in and blow the load.

But should the gambler get a very rare big win they can deny the payout.

#2
devils_advocate4:49 pm, 07 Mar 13

johnboy said :

I particularly like how the clubs can use this to make more money.

They let the problem gambler come in and blow the load.

But should the gambler get a very rare big win they can deny the payout.

That’s only true if a payout denied to one gambler is not immediately given to another gambler. I’m not sure if a ‘denied’ payout would just remain in the machine to facilitate a larger jackpot at some later time; or the club would somehow appropriate the cash.

Either way the benefit to the club has never itself been the problem (although the addition to pokie revenue combine with political influence allows it to linger) – it’s the direct losses to the gamblers and the implicit social losses that cause the problem.

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