Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion (MVSE) Roll Out
The benefits of self-exclusion
Counsellors tell us that since multi-venue self-exclusion was introduced 13 years ago, it has become the single most significant tool that venues can provide to problem gamblers.
Over the past decade self-exclusion and face-to-face counselling have worked hand in hand to provide a more effective set of tools to assist problem gamblers overcome destructive behaviour.
The benefits of online multi-venue self exclusion for problem gamblers
This groundbreaking online system is the next step forward when it comes to self-exclusion. No longer will a problem gambler have to visit each and every club around their home and workplace to self-exclude. In fact, they won’t have to visit a club at all – they can see a gambling counsellor and self-exclude from multiple venues without ever having to put a foot inside a single club. The option remains to self-exclude from multiple venues at their local club if they’d prefer.
Going through the self-exclusion process multiple times and visiting multiple venues is a deterrent for problem gamblers who may decide it’s all just too difficult. Worse still, it can also be harmful to them to be in that environment when they could be in crisis.
For some problem gamblers, particularly in small communities, the shame of going in to see your club manager and admitting that you need to self exclude, can be too hard to deal with.
Multi-venue self exclusion removes these barriers and makes the self-exclusion process more accessible and easier for a problem gambler.
The benefits of online multi-venue self exclusion for clubs
MVSE will also help clubs facilitate the self-exclusion process. For a lot of clubs, especially small and medium sized ones, facilitating a self-exclusion can be a rare event. Having a user-friendly system that guides the facilitator and the problem gambler through the process and the self-exclusion deed makes it much easier for both parties and ensures that the staff member facilitating the self-exclusion can deliver the service with confidence and authority.
The program allows for a centralised, easily accessible point for qualified club staff and security to log-in and see who is currently self-excluded from their club at a moment’s notice.
There’s no waiting for paperwork to be faxed through, and the images of all currently self-excluded gamblers from the club are centrally and privately maintained.
Another benefit of the system is because it can be accessed from any computer in the club, it makes self-exclusion much more accessible for staff to refer to anywhere in the venue than paper print-outs in a manila folder. Research shows that the more regularly staff are exposed to the photos of self-excluded persons, the higher likelihood there is for them to identify a breach occurring and that’s why this system encourages the regular viewing of photos by staff.
The benefits of online multi-venue self exclusion for family members
The ClubSAFE online system gives the person the option to allow the club or counsellor to confirm that the person is self-excluded to one of their immediate family members. As family members are often the ones who have encouraged a problem gambler to seek help and self-exclude, this is a way of letting their family know that they have indeed followed through on that commitment. Obviously, this is only done if the self-excluded person gives consent.
The benefits of online multi-venue self exclusion for counsellors
The gambling counsellors of NSW have had significant input in the development of this system and the majority are very excited at the prospect of receiving this system for direct use with their clients.
There’s the convenience of counsellors being able to assist their clients by providing a self exclusion service right there in the counselling rooms. In the past, many counsellors have had to accompany their clients from club-to-club and this is time-consuming and compromises the problem gambler.
Counsellors will be able to monitor any breaches, and receive notification from the system if one of their clients breaches their self-exclusion by entering the clubs.
Following a six month trial of the system on the Central Coast and in Broken Hill, the overwhelming response from clubs and counsellors alike was that the system was easy to use, saved time, and helped them to deliver self-exclusions confidently and consistently to the participants.
Counsellors see this as the start of a new era of even greater cooperation between them, ClubsNSW and the individual clubs in their area.
How many venues can a problem gambler self-exclude from?
We’ve set a maximum of 25 venues in consultation with counsellors. There may be some clients with circumstances that would require more clubs to be included in a self-exclusion, and there is always the option of adding more venues in subsequent appointments if required.
Obviously a person living in Broken Hill does not need to be banned from clubs on the Central Coast and vice versa. By limiting the number of clubs a person can self-exclude from it also makes it easier for club staff to identify someone who is breaching their self-exclusion since they’re only looking for people who live or work in the area – instead of trying to keep an eye out for self-excluded people who live 100 kilometres away.
We want to ensure that each venue that is included in a client’s self-exclusion is there because it needs to be there. That venue is one the client has previously visited or is sufficiently convenient as to pose a temptation if not included in their list.
Self-exclusion options – the venue, the gaming area or all gambling areas
During the self-exclusion process the gambler can elect to self-exclude from the entire venue, the gaming room or from all gambling activities inside the club.
Many clubs in NSW are located in rural communities and most of these clubs are the social hub of the community. Many problem gamblers who use self-exclusion as a tool of recovery still want to be able to enjoy a meal with friends and to make use of the other amenities that their club provides – even though they need the support of a self-exclusion while attending to their gambling issues.
That means they could come to the club to pick up their child from sports practice or to see a show, but they couldn’t enter any area with poker machines, Keno or the TAB.
Since the majority of problem gamblers engage in 4 different types of gambling, this is an important option that allows a problem gambler who also gambles on Keno or at the TAB to exclude themselves from those options as well.
Breaches of self-exclusion
If a staff member sees a person in breach of their self-exclusion, they or their supervisor would discretely approach the client and assess whether that person is who they believe them to be. If staff are satisfied that the person they’ve approached is in breach of their self-exclusion, the person will be asked to leave, and if necessary – escorted from the premises.
Self-exclusion isn’t a foolproof system, but it is an effective one. People all too often attempt to measure the effectiveness of self-exclusion by how many identified or unidentified breaches there are – but it’s a mistake to measure self-exclusion that way.
What self-exclusion does successfully is change the relationship between the problem gambler and the venue. So even if a person does breach their self-ban undetected, being in front of the machine or in the TAB is compromised through fear or concern that they may be detected.
According to our counsellors, self-excluded people in this situation are often relieved to be identified and are grateful to see the system is working.
ClubSAFE staff training
Our ClubSAFE program currently provides both face-to-face and on-line training options for staff and management.
In addition, as we roll-out the system across the state, we are holding training meetings to which all ClubSAFE clubs representatives are taken through specific training to ensure they can use the system confidently.
When someone self-excludes, they’re trusting us with very personal details, which is why we’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars to ensure that this is one of the most secure online systems in existence. Contact Details
E: ClubSAFE@clubsnsw.com.au ClubSAFE Counselling Service:
|Rowan Cameron |
P: (02) 9268 3068
M: 0429 902 124
|Di Merritt |
P: (02) 9268 3074
M: 0403 688 914
1800 99 77 66 (24 hours, 7 days) Click here for more information about ClubSAFE