Off Limits: sights and sounds of gambling
casinos and gambling venues could be required to undertake significant
renovations to make sure children are not able to see, or even hear,
drawn up by state and federal ministers say children must not only be kept
out of gaming venues but also must not be "exposed to gambling areas
guidelines also include encouraging breaks in play, banning the service of
alcohol to people using a gambling machine and prominently displaying
clocks so people can see how much time they have spent at machines.
Part of a
new policy on "responsible gaming machine activity in clubs and
hotels", the principles were drawn up by the ministerial council on
gambling this month.
independent senator Nick
Xenophon said state governments must act immediately to
protect children from the sights and sounds of gambling.
states and the Federal Government finally agree that children are harmed by
exposure of adult behaviours like gambling," Senator Xenophon said.
children should include measures such as soundproofing play areas,
restaurants and other non-gaming areas inside clubs or casinos.
clubs industry denied the new principles would require extensive renovation
spokesman for ClubsNSW said venues already went to great lengths to keep
children away from gambling areas.
not allowed in such areas, he said, except in rare circumstances. Among
these was needing to use facilities such as toilets, when they must be
accompanied by an adult.
are for the whole family," the spokesman said. "In regional areas
the club is often the only place where a family can enjoy a night out
decision on the extent of the reforms will be made until the Productivity
Commission hands the final report of its inquiry into gambling to the
Federal Government next year.
Federal Government has said it wants to crack down on problem gambling
although the issue remains the responsibility of the states.
spokeswoman for the Minister for Families and Community Services, Jenny
Macklin, said all states and territories had agreed to the principles
before taking formal action next year.
principles are about implementing a nationally consistent approach to
ensure that minors are not directly exposed to gambling," she said.
"A part of this is recognising the need to ensure that the physical
layout of gambling venues does not expose them to gambling."
Sydney Morning Herald, 24 July 2009
Teen gambling addict took bank cards to pay off debts
A 19-YEAR-OLD former gambling
addict who tried to take nearly £8,000 from his father's bank account
to pay off debts has been put behind bars for seven months.
Patrick Kendall owed
£9,000 and struggled to pay huge interest rates, Plymouth magistrates heard.
The scaffolder used his
father's credit card in a bid to transfer £7,800 into his own
account, the court heard.
Kendall, of Mannamead
Road, also took a colleague's bank card and
posed as him to withdraw £260 from his account.
Magistrates heard that Kendall was in breach of a six-month suspended
sentence imposed only in June for 11 offences of fraud and two of theft.
They sent Kendall to a young offenders'
institution for a total of seven months.
Kendall admitted fraud intending to make a gain of
£260 on August 12. He also admitted theft of a bank card and
£10 belonging to his work colleague.
He asked for another fraud
matter of attempting to transfer £7,800 from his father's account to
his own to be taken into consideration.
Louise Howard, prosecuting,
said that a fellow scaffolder noticed his wallet had been taken from a
cabin at Devonport Dockyard on August 12. She added that Kendall
was spotted on CCTV withdrawing £260 from his colleague's account at
a bank in St Budeaux.
Miss Howard said that when
police interviewed Kendall he admitted the
fraud where he tried to transfer the cash from his father's bank into his
Sarah Glanville, for Kendall, said that he had started gambling a few
years before to cope with the death of his grandmother. At first he started
winning but then the tables turned and he started running up a lot of
Miss Glanville said his
family found out and his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum.
She added: "He gave up
the addiction but was left with a large amount of debt in loans and on
credit cards. Because of his age and income he had to take out loans with
extremely high interest rates. The debt kept escalating and he was
Miss Glanville said that he
used credit cards and took money belonging to his family – offences
which led to the suspended sentence.
She added that he was deeply
ashamed but could not pay off his debts because his job was not paying as
much as expected. Miss Glanville said: "Even worse than that he had
two loans from loan sharks of £200 each at extremely high interest
rates and now owed £1,000 on each. He was absolutely desperate to pay
them back. They were making physical threats to him and threatened to
attack his girlfriend, who lived with him."
The court heard that he now
owed £9,000 in total.
Miss Glanville said that he
'gave into temptation' when he saw the colleague's wallet. She added that
if Kendall had not admitted the fraud
involving his father it would never have been discovered.
But presiding magistrate Pippa
Harling said that the offences were so serious that only a custodial
sentence was appropriate.
21 August 2009
Casino operators launch responsible gaming programme
Botswana Programme, an initiative wholly driven by licensed casino
operators, was launched last Thursday at the Grand Palm Resort in Gaborone.
new programme, all casinos will be required to market and promote a
toll-free support line linked to Lifeline Botswana.
launch, a partnership between the Gaming Association of Botswana and
marks the commitment of stakeholders to creating a responsible gaming
environment to assist players who need help with gambling-related
Chairman of Gaming Association of Botswana, Bruce Page-Wood: "Gaming
is a fun pastime and a pleasurable social activity allowing players to
relax. It is important to always stay in control and not to play beyond
Responsible Gaming Botswana Programme provides players who gamble beyond
their means with appropriate channels to seek support. Professional,
qualified counsellors from Lifeline Botswana are available to give
advice and support. We fully support and are committed to ensuring that all
our players have access to the support it provides."
Chairman of Lifeline Botswana, Elsie Alexander, said her organisation has
provided free counselling services to individuals and their families from
all walks of life regardless of class, status, age and gender over the
decades and trained more than 300 volunteers on lay counselling.
Chairman of the Botswana Casino Control Board, Leta Mosienyane, said while
the majority of Batswana that gamble do so with little or no adverse
consequences, the percentage of adults with gambling problems is bound to
increase with time as
gambling becomes more socially acceptable and accessible.
observed that concerns are growing about the impact of gambling on society
and the potential problem of "problem gamblers: "The Draft Gaming
and Gambling Bill provides that members of the public who participate in
any licensed gambling activity shall be protected and that society and the
economy shall be protected against over-stimulation of the latent demand
for gambling," he said.
is being designed with the intention of controlling legalised gambling
activity to ensure that society and the economy is not over-stimulated thus
lessening the extent of possible problem gambling.
admitted that gambling is a sensitive industry that can become a liability
when not properly run. He spoke of the importance of balancing the
socio-economic side-effects of gambling with positive effects, saying all
the evidence indicates that if the gambling is not checked, more problems
said there is a need to understand the whole industry, which includes the
positive effects, economic effects and possible negative and socio-economic
effects, adding that Internet gaming would also allow access to a wide
range of gambling opportunities into homes, posing fresh challenges for
regulation, harm minimisation and taxation.
Online, 16 June 2009
NSGC launches Responsible Gaming cards for VLT’s
a successful trial period which showed that responsible gaming features on
video lottery terminals (VLTs) had a positive impact on reducing problem
gambling, the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation (NSGC) has launched the
Informed Player Choice System, a player card designed to encourage informed
decision-making and responsible gambling amongst its customers.
voluntary system provides customers access to personal gambling history,
informing players of wins and losses during a specific play session or
across the year and allowing players to set spending and time limits on
their VLT use.
the system to provide historical gambling information to players would
enable them to make informed decisions about their gambling activities,
including the option to set a self-imposed ban for 24, 48, or 72 hour
wishing to use the new system will have to register for a special card at a
video lottery terminal site. From here the player will obtain a personal
identification number which can be used at any of the registered machines.
moved ahead with plans to make player information tools available on all
VLTs across Nova Scotia after field test results by three independent
researchers showed that responsible gaming features on VLTs had a positive
cited experts which agreed that greater access to betting information
encourages informed decision-making which in turn can lead to responsible
play and the prevention of future gambling problems.
system is expected to be rolled out to all machines in the province of Nova Scotia by December 2009 at an
annual running cost of between CAD$4 - $5 million.
by the NSGC follows the introduction of a similar VLT protection system by Norway’s
introduction of VLT cards has been coupled with additional harm-reduction
features such as an automatic 'cooling off' period of ten minutes after
each hour of continuous play by an individual, while cash options were also
removed from gaming machines, in effect making the VLT cards mandatory.
recently expanded its range of responsible gambling initiatives with the
launch of a new software programme designed to address the growing problem
of underage gambling in the province. Called BetStopper, the program claims
to be the first of its kind to block children’s access to gambling
content on the Internet.
Intelligence, 8 July 2009
Upper house speaker calls for cracking down on online gambling
Mironov, speaker of Russia's
Federation Council, called Friday for cracking down on online gambling,
Federation Council is the Russian parliament's upper house.
next task is to drive gambling businesses out of the Internet,"
said online gambling had witnessed a boom after restrictions on traditional
gambling came into effect on July 1.
gambling restrictions are a test for our state's strength," he said.
"If we waver and condone gambling businesses' attempts to find all
possible loopholes, all our achievements in strengthening the state that we
were so proud of are useless."
federal law signed in 2006, all gambling establishments in Russia were
to be restricted to four gambling zones starting on July 1, 2009. The zones
were expected to be located in the Altai, Primorsky, Kaliningrad
regions and along the border of the Krasnodar
regional authorities failed to prepare the zones by the July 1 deadline,
triggering uncertainty over the future of the Russian gambling industry.
14 August 2009
Cataluña adds Responsible Gaming to school syllabus
Spanish autonomous community of Cataluña is taking a lead in
fighting underage gambling problems by becoming the first region in the
country to add the subject of responsible gaming to the syllabus of secondary
in the 2009/10 school year, all 4th grade students will receive a basic
education on the dangers of irresponsible gaming as part of a programme
entitled “Jugar i gaudir” (Play & Enjoy).
Intelligence, 14 July 2009
Addressing Problem Gambling
Treasurer, Michael Aird, today issued a Ministerial Direction to the
Tasmanian Gaming Commission to implement a range of measures to further
address problem gambling in Tasmania.
who attended the Ministerial Council on Gambling meeting in Brisbane on Friday, said the measures would ensure Tasmania continued to have the best harm minimisation
practices in Australia.
in developing the measures, in response to the findings of the recent
Social and Economic Impact Study into Gambling, the State Government was
mindful of the areas that need to be addressed nationally.
the Ministerial meeting, I voiced Tasmania’s
strong support for a national response to the issue of player
pre-commitment,” Mr Aird said.
have made no secret of my support of the principles behind smart cards and
other player pre-commitment measures.
agreed that all jurisdictions would work together to develop a national
policy standard to which all future pre-commitment systems would conform.
will enable consistency in pre-commitment technology to be used across Australia.”
said that work is now underway in Queensland
and South Australia to trial
pre-commitment technologies, with the Commonwealth agreeing to fund the
evaluation of trials in South
outcome of both trials will further shape the development of the national
policy standard,” he said.
said that Tasmania
is already at the forefront of implementing harm minimisation strategies to
reduce problem gambling.
of the work program agreed to at last week’s Ministerial Council
meeting has already been introduced, or is being introduced, in Tasmania.”
said that at last week’s meeting, Commonwealth, State and Territory
officials also agreed on developing national actions around three key
priority areas to reduce harm from gambling, including:
Helping individuals set limits, including access to cash and pre-commitment
Gaming machine standards for better consumer protection; and
Responsible gambling environments.
measures to be implemented in Tasmania
The maximum bet limit will be $5 per spin for all gaming machines.
Currently there is a $10 limit in hotels and clubs and none in casinos. The
maximum bet limit of $5 per spin will apply across all venues.
The cash input limit on note acceptors will be reduced from $9 899 to $500.
Once a credit meter reaches or goes over the $500 limit, any further notes
will be rejected back to the player.
Penalties will be increased and extended to all gaming staff who allow
minors to enter a restricted gaming area.
The maximum possible lines permitted to be played on gaming machines will
be reduced from 50 to 30.
Casinos will be required to limit EFTPOS transactions for gaming within
their venues to one per person per day.
All venues will be required to comply with a maximum limit of $1 000 for
cash payments of winnings from gaming machines and Keno.
Cashing winning cheques on the same trading day at a gaming venue will be
prohibited. As well, casinos will be required to ensure that cheques drawn
on Australian banks are banked within five business days in order to
minimise the use of un-presented cheques as a form of credit betting.
The existing Responsible Conduct of Gaming course will be enhanced with a
specific focus on problem gambler identification and appropriate
intervention by venue staff.
The current voluntary industry codes will be replaced by a new mandatory
code to improve gaming environments. The content of the code will be
developed following industry consultation. However, it will include
provisions relating to advertising gambling products; player loyalty
programs; and inducements that may lead to problem gambling behaviour.
Attendant service of alcohol and food in public gaming areas between the
hours of 9pm and the close of operations each day will be prohibited.
The Tasmanian Gaming Commission will investigate the possible introduction
of casino player information displays in hotels and clubs.
Venues will be required to display ‘Plain English’ signage,
including an explanation of ‘return to player’.
Venues will be required to comply with a minimum standard for lighting
within gaming areas to ensure that all signage within that area can be
The Gaming Control Act 1993 will be amended to strengthen the gaming
exclusions regime for self-excluded gamblers.
said that the effectiveness of the Helpline services will be reviewed and
the Government will also undertake a specific educational campaign for
‘at risk’ target groups.
Government has also commenced work on the development of a
whole-of-government strategy to combat problem gambling.
of the measures will be implemented by the Tasmanian Gaming Commission
right away, while others cannot commence until after changes are made to
the Gaming Control Act which will be considered by Parliament during the Spring
session,” Mr Aird said.
list of the new measures and updates on the Commission’s progress in
implementing them will be available at www.gaming.tas.gov.au and also
included in the Liquor and Gaming Branch newsletter ‘Liquor and
Government Communication Unit, 13 July 2009
Problems with gambling can start early, parents are warned
stealing their parents' credit cards, incurring huge debts and developing
problem? It's not drugs, it's gambling.
Derevensky, speaking at the annual National Conference on
Problem Gaming in Indianapolis this weekend, said most parents don't view
adolescent gambling as a major concern, but that a majority of teenagers he
surveyed acknowledged they have gambled for money in the past year.
don't have livelihoods and families to lose to gambling, and the horror
stories aren't the norm, but experts say exposing youngsters to gambling
can set them up for crippling addiction later in life.
gambling Web sites and parents' lax attitude toward things such as buying
lottery tickets for children can make it easier for kids to become
gamblers, Derevensky said.
concerned about the accessibility in gambling, coupled with the fact that
parents aren't concerned about gambling," said Derevensky, who
researches high-risk child and adolescent behaviors at McGill University
has a big gambling industry, ranked fourth in the U.S. in amounts wagered at the
state's casinos, said Jerry
Long, executive director of the Indiana Council on
casinos work hard to ensure underage gamblers don't enter their premises,
the Hoosier Lottery, Long said, can be more easily accessed by kids.
must be 21 to enter casinos, and 18 to buy Hoosier Lottery tickets or claim
prizes. But Derevensky said some parents he surveyed had bought lottery
tickets as gifts for their kids.
think it's pretty inappropriate to give kids something that's illegal for
them to buy," Long said of lottery tickets. "So many people that
have a gambling problem win early on, and it just drives them to do it more
and more. You never win in the long run."
research, released last month, found that among the more than 2,700
Canadian parents of children ages 12 to 18 surveyed, concern about gambling
ranked last on a list of 13 problem behaviors, behind such activities as
excessive video game play.
results likely would hold true in the U.S., where attitudes regarding
gambling are similar, Derevensky said.
attendee Janet Jacobs,
director of the Gambling Recovery Ministries at the Indiana Conference of
the United Methodist Church,
said she's heard of many cases in which gamblers developed problems at a
young age after attending racetracks or gambling at card games
may be deluding themselves on the issue, Derevensky said.
percent of parents surveyed by the researcher said they had gambled in some
form with their children, but 52 percent of those same parents also said
underage gambling can escalate into a gambling addiction.
suggests parents don't correlate participation in gambling activities with
their children with the potential risk involved, Derevensky said.
percent to 4 percent of all gamblers develop a significant, life-disrupting
addiction, Long said, which makes the fight to curb adolescent gambling
that much more critical.
strategy will be to increase parents' awareness of adolescent gambling and
give them more education and resources on the issue, Derevensky said.
think we really need to target parents in our efforts for prevention,"
tickets are the most common way that adolescents gamble, but they also can
be involved in live online poker games or sports betting pools. Warning
signs parents should watch for:
Irritable behavior or abrupt mood swings.
Difficulty in school, such as loss of interest, falling grades or
Lying about activities.
Asking for more money, or displaying large amounts of unexplained money or
Money or valuable objects missing from the house.
Problems with family members or friends.
28 June 2009
New fine in place for underage gamblers
A $500 fine
is now in place for minors is caught on the gambling floor of an Iowa casino. The
President, Iowa Gaming Association, Wes Ehrecke, hopes the fine will make people
think before they try to sneak in and gamble. He says they hope it
heightens awareness so that anyone under 21 will not try to get in and
says some people might not realize the legal gambling age, and hopefully
the new fine will make them wait until they hit the age that makes them eligible
to gamble. Casino operators pushed for the fine, as they were being
punished by gambling regulators when a minor was caught, but the minor
faced no consequences.
says the casinos can be fined up to $20,000 if a minor is caught gambling.
"Certainly we take it very seriously, trying to check I-D's of anyone
that looks under 30. But sometimes in this age with false I-D's and the
like, people do get in," Ehrecke says. Ehrecke was asked if the $500
fine is enough to be a really deterrent.
says the gambling industry suggested a higher amount, but the legislature
felt this amount was the right one to go with. "We think that's at
least a good start and hopefully this will be a good added deterrent,"
Ehrecke says. He says casinos now have signs posted pointing out the fine
so people are aware. The new fine began on July 1st.
6 July 2009