- ClubsNSW wants families to be allowed to request a club ban for loved ones affected by gambling harm
- Anti-gambling campaigners aren’t sold on the idea
- One in ten gamblers in NSW are at risk of gambling harm
Families play an important role in protecting their loved ones from the negative effects of gambling and ClubsNWS‘s latest proposal to tackle gambling harm revolves around this concept.
But anti-gambling campaigners in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) aren’t convinced that the new measure would help solve the state’s gambling problem.
Under the new proposal, families of individuals affected by gambling harm may request clubs to ban their loved ones.
The plan is to establish an independent panel that will handle the entire exclusion process. Each club will also be required to designate a responsible gambling officer who will undergo advanced training to identify a range of problem gambling indicators, such as using credit to gamble, borrowing funds from other customers, or stealing money for gambling purposes.
Customers exhibiting problem gambling behavior may undergo counselling or be banned outright.
According to ClubsNSW CEO Josh Landis, families are in the best position to determine whether a member is experiencing serious gambling issues. This is the main reason why the organization has been campaigning for a family intervention system for 10 years now to reduce gambling harm.
He said there is a need for clubs to go far and beyond what the law requires them to do in terms of protecting their members and patrons, and the new proposal would allow them to do just that.
New Proposal Described as “Window Dressing“
Reverend Tim Costello of the Alliance for Gambling Reform doubts the ClubNSW’s real intention in launching the new proposal.
Describing the new measure as “window dressing“, Rev. Costello said the proposal was drafted out of fear of the possibility of the government introducing a digital wallet for real-time monitoring of problem gambling and predatory behavior, a drastic reform backed by former gambling minister Victor Dominello.
Dominello was removed from the role and Rev. Costello is blaming the gambling industry for it. He compared ClubsNSW to the National Rifle Association (NRA), a gun rights advocacy group in the US. Rev. Costello doesn’t think the industry would have no direct influence on the proposed independent panel. He said the exclusion system proposed by ClubNSW is a “complete joke“.
Problem gambling is a serious issue in NSW, with nearly 1 in 10 gamblers in the state categorized as at risk of harm.