ECINS has been invited by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) to join a Self-Exclusion Working Group that will be looking at the key issues around implementing an effective self-exclusion programme for the gambling industry.
The RGSB has highlighted self exclusion as a priority and issues around a national self-exclusion scheme were raised by the recent Culture Media and Sport Select Committee Report.
ECINS was the first independent organisation to develop and introduce a self exclusion programme and it remains the only national scheme in the country. The Count Me Out Gambling Self-Exclusion Programme has been highly effective in helping problem gamblers who wish to exclude themselves from entering gambling premises.
Unlike other self-exclusion schemes, Count Me Out is not linked to any one gambling operator. This makes it easier for problem gamblers to self exclude and far more difficult for them to resume gambling than under existing, individually run, company schemes.
The current legislation makes self exclusion from more than one premises very difficult, if not impossible, and information sharing impractical and potentially illegal. Currently, a problem gambler trying to resolve their addiction issues would have to personally visit each of the gaming premises in their area, complete multiple separate agreement forms and provide separate photographs of themselves for each and every one of those gaming premises. This is clearly hugely burdensome and completely de-motivates the problem gambler. The Count Me Out National scheme makes it very easy for a person to self exclude from any number of premises both locally and nationally, and the information can be quickly, effectively and legally shared amongst all gaming premises including those the gambler hasn’t specified. This allows for monitoring, engagement and support for the excluded, vulnerable person. Under the Count Me Out system a vulnerable person could self exclude from all these premises by completing just one agreement form and providing just two photographs. This system has also removed the necessity for them to go to a gaming premises to either collect or submit their Self Exclusion Agreement forms.