The Multi-Venue Self-Exclusion (MVSE) Program is an online system designed to enable people with a gambling problem to self exclude from venues around where they live, work and socialise. Over the past decade, self-exclusion and face-to-face counselling have worked hand-in-hand to assist problem gamblers overcome destructive behaviour.
The Benefits - For 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 - For Clubs
Having a user friendly system that guide both the duty manager 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 do so with confidence and authority.
It also allows for a centralised, easily accessible point for qualified club staff and security to log in and see who is excluded from their club at any moment. There’s no waiting for paperwork to be faxed through, and the images of all who are currently self banned from the club are centrally and privately maintained.
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 four 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.
If a staff member identifies a person in breach of their self-exclusion, they or their supervisor will 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.
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.