Australian Casinos Not Doing Enough To Enforce Responsible Gambling
A Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) released another review into the Crown Melbourne’s casino operations. In total, there were 20 recommendations made and 11 of those referred to “responsible gaming”. The review, which was released in early August, shows that Crown Melbourne casino which is the flagship casino of Crown Resorts is not living up to their expectations.
This news comes at a time when Crown is under fire after a whistle-blower leveled accusations of misconduct. It was reported that the Crown was providing customers with picks that are designed to keep slot machine buttons pressed down. Another accusation of machine tampering led to the VCGLR leveling a $300,000 fine. In yet another disturbing revelation, ALH, which is Australia’s biggest operator of gaming machines, admitted that they spied on players and gave them incentives to continue playing.
Responsible gaming isn’t just some feel-good buzz phrase. Or is it? It has been at the core of government gambling policy dating back to the 1990s. The idea was actually developed by the industry as gambling spread across the globe. By implementing effective responsible gaming policies, operators were able to avoid tighter regulations which would have been set in place to combat problem gambling. Among other things, operators are supposed to post warning signs and cut people off who show signs of problem gambling.
Department of Justice and Regulation Victoria
Some research has shown that responsible gambling policies are largely ineffective. These policies have been referred to as “a smokescreen” and likened to having an ambulance waiting at the bottom of a cliff as opposed to building a fence at the top. Gambling proponents often argue that problem gambling only affects a small minority that can’t control themselves.
Damage Done By Problem Gamblers
It’s no secret that the actions of problem gamblers affect those around them. One recent study concluded that each problem gambler affects an average of six other people in their lives while a “moderate risk” gambler affects three. “Low risk” gamblers are even responsible for affecting at least one other person.
How To Address The Issue?
There is no single cure-all to this problem but the VCGLR feels that casinos need to at least make an effort to promote responsible gambling even if it hurts their bottom line. VCGLR wants casinos implementing real-time analysis that would identify problem gamblers and they feel that casinos should have people working the floor that are trained to spot problem gamblers and intervene.