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Old 14th June 2007, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Problem gambling council urges adoption of exclusion measures

CNA
quote:


SINGAPORE : The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is in talks with gambling operators in Singapore to encourage them to voluntarily adopt self-exclusion measures as part of a Responsible Gambling Code of Practice.

Currently, the exclusion orders only serve to keep problem gamblers out of the casinos, which will open in about three years at the two integrated resorts.

But nothing stops a problem gambler from placing bets with the Singapore Pools or the Turf Club, or even having a go at slot machines in clubs.

According to feedback, the public wants these operators to put in place exclusion measures to narrow the options for gambling addicts or those trying to kick the habit.

The council says the various operators are receptive to letting individuals bar themselves from trying their luck at these establishments.

But nothing has been agreed so far.

More suggestions were thrown up during a month-long public consultation exercise via the REACH feedback portal and focus group sessions with recovering problem gamblers and their families.

Public views were sought on the operational procedures of the three types of exclusion orders - self-exclusion, family exclusion and third party exclusion.

Following feedback, the council will consider setting up a website or a phone enquiry system to allow people to check if they've been barred from the casinos under Third Party Exclusion. This typically applies to bankrupts and those who are on public assistance or have poor credit records.

Another area the council will look into is training social workers to be more aware of the exclusion measures.

This comes after feedback showed that they play a vital role in counselling and helping problem gamblers.

The public is also in favour of a more holistic approach, and viewed family exclusion as the last resort.

The council will explore setting up a 24-hour helpline to provide information on the exclusion orders and link up with other help services.

Details on the administration of the casino exclusion orders are expected to be out by the third quarter of this year.

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