Monday, 19 July 2010

How effective is Self-Exclusion? The story of Joyce May Ross

I’ve been speaking to a number of stakeholders within the industry in the past few weeks about player protection. What I’m hearing is that one of the reasons why the levels of problem gambling has remained consistently low is due to operators offering players the appropriate tools to help them to manage their play, such as self-exclusions and limits. Many stated that these features have proved very effective.

This weekend I read about Joyce May Ross, who is suing B.C. Lottery Corp for $331,000 for failing to stop her gambling after she asked them to through the corporation’s self-exclusion programme. So whose fault was it that she lost so much money? Do lotteries need to do more to help gamblers such as Joyce? And are they the best placed to monitor gamblers?

For the online industry, one of the challenges to implementing effective player protection in the area of self-exclusion is how does one prevent a self-excluded player signing-up to a different operator? Adopting a pan-European approach would make sense, such as developing a common database where operators share relevant data, but implementing such an initiative could prove very challenging.

So back to Joyce May Ross. The question is will more lawsuits follow? You can read the article here.