gambling put back under spotlight
Problem gambling will once again come under the Productivity
Commission's microscope with the economic think tank to update its landmark
1999 study that found 2.1% of Australian adults were addicted to the
A communiqué after
yesterday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Sydney said that almost a decade after
its first study, the commission would do new work to quantify the extent of
problem gambling. State governments collect billions from gaming revenue.
Under pressure from anti-pokies
activists, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has already signalled that Canberra will take
steps to curb addiction to poker machines. Several states, including Victoria, are moving
towards bans on ATMs in gaming venues.
The Federal Government will face
significant pressure over coming months from the new South Australian
Senator Nick Xenophon, and Family First Senator Steve Fielding, to take on
the gaming industry.
Last night, Senator Xenophon
welcomed the new COAG agreement, but he said community groups and people
affected by problem gambling needed to have input into the terms of
reference, and there needed to be a focus on "binding solutions".
He also expressed surprise at
yesterday's low-key announcement. "I'm surprised that this was only a
throwaway line in the COAG communiqué," Senator Xenophon told
The Age, 4 July 2008
National Approach To Aussie Problem Gambling
In Australia, the
Treasurer and Minister for Racing for the state of Tasmania,
Michael Aird, has announced that he was extremely
pleased with the progress made at last week’s Ministerial Council on
Gambling (MCG) meeting in Melbourne.
The MCG was held in order to discover ways of developing a national
approach to problem gambling throughout the whole of Australia. Aird
stated that the meeting made it clear that Tasmania is leading the way with
regulations such as a cap on the number of poker machines along with
forbidding automatic teller or note accepting machines in clubs and pubs.
“This has been the first meeting in two years of the MCG,” said
“The outcomes of the meeting demonstrate what state and Federal
governments working together can achieve. I am confident the national
approach that has been embraced here today and a subsequent range of new
initiatives will enable us to make further headway.”
Ministers agreed to develop a single national website for online treatment
that will provide around-the-clock access to counselling. It is expected to
appeal to people who may not be reached through traditional face-to-face
counselling. In addition, the attendees agreed to a single national 1-800
gambling hotline telephone number that will
automatically switch a caller through to a councillor in his or her state
or territory of residence.
Aird also tabled the Social and Economic Impact
Study into Gambling in Tasmania
and Ministers agreed to reconvene in February to discuss its findings.
“This is an important report which, provides
information that will be valuable for all jurisdictions as they work to
better understand the impacts of gambling,” said Aird.
“Notwithstanding the initiatives being pursued at the national level,
I look forward to receiving the Tasmanian Gaming Commission’s
response to the Study, which I anticipate will include the consideration of
Igamingbusiness, 31 July 2008
gamblers find it easy to slip into casinos: report
problem gamblers who visit a casino after placing themselves on Alberta's voluntary
self-exclusion list find it "very easy" to slip in, even though
they're supposed to be barred from the slots and poker tables.
That's according to a comprehensive evaluation by the Alberta Gaming and
Liquor Commission of the province's six-year-old voluntary self-exclusion
The report, which found many cracks in the system, recommends that facial
recognition, card-based technology and random ID checks be
used to stop addicted gamblers in their tracks.
I've seen guys dressed up as women," said Mark Dorman, general manager
of the Silver Dollar Casino in Calgary,
recalling his experiences in stopping people in the program from entering.
seen guys wearing beards and dying their hair."
submitting an application to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission,
participants in the program voluntarily agree to be locked out of Alberta casinos and
racing entertainment centres for six months to three years.
cannot cancel the agreement before its expiry date. If they break the
agreement, they can be jailed for up to six months, or fined up to $10,000,
although judges usually award much smaller penalties.
this week, there are about 1,500 people in Alberta's program.
report found numerous gaps in the program, including: no lifetime enrolment
option, no mandatory counselling and treatment services, penalties that are
weakly enforced, no mandatory training for casino staff, no compulsory ID
checks, and technology such as facial recognition systems that aren't used.
a gambling addict wins a jackpot, there's nothing requiring him or her to
give it up.
quickly identify that there's no teeth to it, so it just becomes a piece of
paper," said Robert Williams, co-ordinator of the Alberta Gaming
Research Institute, who helped examine the evaluation and come up with the
just not going to work for a security guard to try to remember the faces of
1,500 people," said Williams, who's based at the University of Lethbridge.
survey found that among users in the program who tried to get into casinos
or racing entertainment centres, more than four in five described it as
"very easy" to do so. About half of those respondents said they
were never once recognized or asked to leave, even though they visited the
gambling institutions several dozen times each, on average.
report gives a total of 22 recommendations. The government will officially
respond to the report next March, said commission spokeswoman Vanda
in particular seem to have a tumultuous relationship with lady luck.
from Statistics Canada found that the average Canadian spent $513 gambling
in 2005, while Albertans spent $750 per person.
Post, 7 August 2008
program targets gambling addiction
It’s hoped a new initiative will prevent
some people from becoming addicted to gambling. The City of Vernon
has decided to join the Partnership for Responsible Gambling, an alliance
of stakeholders within the gaming industry.
goal is to reduce the incidents of problem gambling,” said Paul
Smith, with the B.C. Lottery Corporation, during a presentation to council
Monday. “The more people that take on shared accountability, the more
effective our program can be.” Part of the initiative includes
responsible play information centres in casinos. Through it, patrons can
get information on how the games work and where to access resources about
we see problem gambling, the goal is to remove those people and help them
seek the help they need,” said Smith. Currently, the information
centre is not available at Lake City Casino in Vernon. “The plans are to put it in
place by October,” said Smith.
also a program that allows people to voluntary be banned from casinos if
they believe they have a problem. The Partnership for Responsible Gaming
also provides a toll-free information phone line and training for
counsellors. “The bulk of our programming provides education to the
players,” said Smith.
added that Partnership for Responsible Gaming wants community focused
programs that reflect local priorities. There is the possibility that the
City of Vernon
could receive a one-time grant of $50,000 for gambling-related endeavours.
But that didn’t go over well with Coun.
Barry Beardsell, who has pushed for a social
responsibility fund. “It would not satisfy the request of the city if
it’s one time,” he said.
Beardsell added that about $218 million has been spent by patrons of the
local casino in the last nine years. “They have put very little back
into the community.”
Vernon Morning Star, 14 August 2008
risk of gambling addiction as more casinos open up in Asia
casinos open in Asia, counselling
professionals and governments are getting worried about the problem of
In Hong Kong alone, more than 5 percent of the population suffers from this
problem, compared to about 3 percent in the United States.
With legalised football betting and lottery in Hong
Kong, it is easy to get caught up in the action. The city has
one of the highest per capita betting averages in the world - around
US$2,000 a year.
Researchers fear pathological gambling could be on the rise with new
casinos sprouting up in the region. Associate Professor Howard Shaffer,
Harvard Medical School, said: "I think for the Asian gamblers, the
risk now is that we have Americanised gambling settings so people come and
gamble in Macau in a way that is usually the hallmark of Las Vegas gambling
and that will require some adaptation."
Singapore and Vietnam have gaming resorts opening next
year, while Taiwan, Thailand and Japan are considering
Singapore's National Council
on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is keen to tackle gambling addiction and has
sent a contingent to the 2nd Asia Pacific Problem Gambling and Addictions
Conference in Hong Kong.
It is confident that despite the new temptations, continuous public
education will help prevent a surge in the number of new addicts. Leading
Harvard addictions expert, Prof Shaffer, has suggested recognising a
syndrome approach to addiction.
"The Syndrome Model suggests that we have a common vulnerability in
the human condition and that common vulnerability gets exposed in many
different ways," he said.
Currently, most treatments for gambling addiction involve counselling,
step-based programmes and peer-support.
It is estimated that a staggering US$71 billion will be poured into Asia by gaming companies over the next four years.
While it is impossible to predict how many Asians will become addicted,
experts have warned a spike in addiction rates would occur within the first
CSR Asia, 23 May 2008
online poker players seek debt counselling
increasing number of internet poker players are seeking debt counselling. Helsinki's Debt
Counselling Office says the number of heavily indebted online poker players
it's assisted has doubled this year.
By the end of the year, the organisation says it expects to help some 150
people. Throughout the country, hundreds of online poker players have
sought professional help.
"In the past, we assisted online poker players a few times a year, or
a few times a month. But now we help online poker players daily," says
Marianne Rikama, the head of Helsinki's Debt Counselling Office.
It's also becoming more common to encounter male players who owe tens or
hundreds of thousands of euros.
Some 200,000 Finns play internet poker. The game is banned in the United States.
Many EU countries, including Finland, are currently
considering legislation reforms on the issue. Treatment for online gambling
at clinics in Finland
is in the early stages.
News, 25 May 2008
Ladbrokes welcomes Dutch referral to ECJ
Ladbrokes welcomed the decision
of the Dutch Supreme Court on Friday to refer its ongoing case against
Dutch gambling monopoly De Lotto to the European Court of Justice.
The decision by the Dutch court was taken today and relates to an appeal
against an injunction taken out in 2002 that prevented Ladbrokes from
accepting sports bets from Dutch citizens.
The Dutch Supreme Court referred the following three questions to the
European Court of Justice to guide them on how they should deal with the
case in the context of European law.
Under European case law (Gambelli etc.),
is it allowed to make the offering of gambling attractive through the
introduction of new games and through publicity in order to keep
(potential) gamblers away from illegal offerings?
Does the national judge in each case have to decide whether the
application of the national policy re gambling (e.g. in this case an order
to block a website) in each specific case is justified?
Can a member state on the basis of a closed licence system prevent
the offering of gambling via the internet by a company who has a licence in
another member state?
The Dutch court’s decision
means that the case between the two firms will be assessed under European
law, and the freedom to provide cross border services to other EU member
states that is enshrined in the Rome Treaty, which Ladbrokes says is
fundamental to the case.
John O’Reilly, Ladbrokes managing director of egaming,
said: “We have fought for six years against Dutch protectionism and
finally we have won the referral to the European Court of Justice. At
last the Dutch courts have recognised that its laws on betting must be
viewed in the context of European law. Under the Treaty of Rome we should
be able to provide our services across borders in competition with the
Dutch monopoly, but at the moment we are unfairly prevented from doing
facing reasoned opinions from the European Commission and may be referred
to the ECJ by the Commission for restricting access to its gambling and
sports betting markets.
EGaming Review, 13 June 2008
Norway imposes strict gambling
OSLO- Norway is imposing some of the world's strictest
rules on video gambling machines in a drive to reduce the number of
compulsive gamblers and save people from economic ruin, the government said
betting terminals - operated solely by the state lottery company Norsk Tipping - will not take cash or credit card, and
can only be used with a prepaid card sold to registered players over age 18, a government
will be limits on how much an individual can lose, they will be closed at
night and there will be a cooling-off period after one hour of continuous
play," said Trond Giske,
minister of culture and churches.
strictly regulated, remote-operated system will limit the amount bet per
game to 50 kroner ($10), and set a loss limit of 400 kroner ($80) per day
and 2,200 kroner ($440) per month per player, even if they have more than
one hour of continuous play by one user, the machines will refuse that
player's bets for a 10-minute cooling-off period, the government said. The
government is concerned about the rising number of Norwegians addicted to
gambling machines. In July 2007, it banned all privately owned machines.
the ban, the number of people who called a national gambling help line
plunged, from 2,276 in
2004 to 330 so far this year. The new machines will go online in September.
Associated Press, 12 June 2008
Philippines’s Children Rights and
Child rights champion, Senator Jamby Madrigal has
contested the right of CEZ's (Cagayan Economic
Zone) Port Irene to regulate its own gambling laws.
According to Madrigal, who currently heads several foundations aimed at
increasing awareness of the plight of street children, there is no reason
why CEZ gambling operations should not be under the control of the national
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
Yet stripping the CEZ of its autonomous gambling status won't be child's
play. In an interview with the Kid's Champ, Madrigal admitted that the CEZ
Authority (CEZA) has defended its legal right to issue online gambling
licenses to offshore companies without Pagcor's
CEZA claims that according to Republic Act No. 7922, authored in 1995 by
then Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile, CEZA may
"operate on its own, either directly or through a subsidiary entity,
or license to others, tourism-related activities, including games,
amusements, recreational and sports facilities such as horse racing, dog
racing, gambling casinos, golf courses and others, under priorities and
standards set by the CEZA."
CEZA procured 110 million Philippine Pesos (PHP) in
revenue last year, 90% of which Madrigal claims came from the casinos.
This figure is expected to skyrocket to PHP200 million by the end of 2008,
mainly due to the efforts of CEZA to plug Port Irene as the Asian hub of
Casino Reports, 13 August 2008
bites ever younger victims in Singapore
are starting to gamble at a younger age, triggering fears that the
city-state could face a wave of betting addicts, a published study said on
Thursday. Nearly one-quarter of those queried started gambling when they
were under 18, a
10 per cent hike over 2005.
About 70 per cent began wagering regularly before they turned 30, up from
60 per cent in 2005, said the findings in The Straits Times.
first two casinos scheduled to open within two years, experts warn the
number of addicts could rise. Studies have shown that youth who gamble are
up to four-times more likely to become addicts than adults.
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports study found the
percentage of gambling Malays among the predominantly Chinese population
has doubled in the last three years, from 12 per cent in 2005 to 22 per
cent this year. The typical gambler is Chinese, male, between 40 to 59
years old, with a primary school education or below.
has been a shift in social attitudes, the study noted, with more people
regarding lotteries and social gambling as recreational activities.
"It is increasingly seen as normal behaviour and people don't see any
harm in such activities," sociologist Paulin
Straughan was quoted as saying. "So they are
less likely to tell their loved ones not to engage in such
are also shelling out more on their wagers. Half of those surveyed bet 100 Singapore dollars (75 US dollars) up from 83
dollars (62 US dollars) in 2005.
29 May 2008
South Africa’s parliament
has approved the National Online Gambling Amendment Bill according to a
report from Reuters
It has been over a year since
the bill was introduced to help set up regulations for the online gambling
industry in South Africa
which is currently illegal in their jurisdiction whilst this legislation is
being worked upon.
After a report by South
Africa’s National Gambling Board found that there was a need for the
industry to have a licensing and regulated framework, this bill was drafted
to work upon and amend the government’s policies most notably in
their 2004 National Gambling Act to include online gambling, (which
actually stipulated the commencement of the legislation for regulation of
interactive gambling to be addressed within two years from the date of the
Attached to the National
Gambling Amendment Bill was a memorandum stating "The interactive
gambling industry in South
Africa is currently unregulated and is
generally plagued by crime, criminal elements, little
or no protection of players, uncontrolled exposure of children and other
persons vulnerable to gambling and a host of other negative factors."
Therefore most notably player
protection, underage and other vulnerable people protection, advertising,
licensing-compliance and enforcement, problem gambling and money laundering
are the main topics to be addressed.
Only once President Thabo Mbeki
has signed the bill will it become a law upon their shores. Though it will
probably not even come into force until next year once all areas of the
bill have been formulated, we can’t help but wonder how this will
affect the future of online gambling based in South Africa.
Casino, 30 July 2008
Hill's 'irresponsible' gambling addict ad banned
television ad for bookmaker William Hill's online bingo, featuring a woman
so desperate to play that she tricks her husband, has been banned by the
advertising standards authority for condoning socially irresponsible
The TV ad, created by Home, shows a man having his breakfast and a woman
waiting for him to finish. She then walks over to the clock and moves the
minute hand forward from 7.15am to 7.30am and says to her husband
"Darling shouldn't you be going?".
As soon as he has dashed out the door she says: "I get mine the minute
he's out the door". She then runs up the stairs to play William Hill
online bingo. A voiceover says: "William Hill bingo... a massive
online community, when will you get your William Hill bingo thrill?"
The Advertising Standards Authority received three complaints from viewers
who said that the ad was harmful because it depicted someone who was
addicted to gambling and was attempting to hide that from her family by
William Hill defended the ad, saying that it was a humorous look at the
everyday scenario of a woman wanting to get on with her day once her
husband had left the house, punctuated by taking a break to play bingo.
However, the ASA upheld the complaints because it said that the comment,
"I get mine the minute he's left the house", implied that the
woman was desperate to play bingo and was either unable to wait any longer
or wanted to keep it a secret from her husband.
It considered that the implication was further reinforced by the woman
rushing upstairs and moving the hands of her clock back so that she had
more time to play.
The advertising watchdog concluded that because the ad portrayed gambling
as indispensable and taking priority over the woman's family that it
condoned gambling behaviour that was socially irresponsible.
Brand Republic, 28 May 2008
- UNITED KINGDOM
stats from UK Gambling Commission. Ongoing studies keep the Commission's
finger on the industry pulse
The UK Gambling Commission continues to provide
valuable information through its ongoing surveys, and this week released
statistics from ICM Research based on 8 000 interviews and focusing on the
period September 2007 to June 2008.
Key findings include:
Over the year to June 2008, 8.8
percent of the 8 000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least
one form of remote gambling (through a computer, mobile phone or
interactive/digital TV) in the previous month. This remains the same as the
2007 calendar year figure, which was up on the 2006 number (2006: 7.2
90.9 percent of respondents said
they had not participated in any form of remote - i.e. online - gambling.
Those participating in remote
gambling remain more likely to be male than female, and are more likely to
be aged 18-44.
If those only playing National
Lottery games by remote means are excluded, 5.0 percent of respondents had
participated in remote gambling. Overall, 6.2 percent of respondents said
they had gambled remotely on the National Lottery/Tickets for the National
Lottery draw in the previous month.
Remote gambling via a computer,
laptop or handheld device was most popular (6.9 percent of all adult
respondents), followed by gambling via mobile phone (2.3 percent) and
interactive/digital TV (2.0 percent).
Casino, 9 August 2008