A new memorandum of understanding inked between the State Government and Clubs NSW will give the chance to families of gambling addicts to have their loved ones suspended from gambling facilities.
Under the new opportunity, called a “third-party exclusion” plan, problem gamblers’ family members will be able to anonymously require from gambling venues to ban their loved ones in order for the latter to get professional treatment set to help them beat their addiction.
Josh Landis, Clubs NSW’s executive manager of public affairs, explained that under the policy, if a person whose family nominated him for assessment and treatment and the person is found to be suffering from problem gambling behaviour, they would be banned from local clubs regardless of the fact that they have not applied for an exclusion on their own.
“What we say to those people who have already suffered when their loved one has experienced problems is we’ve heard you, (…)” – Josh Landis, Executive Manager of Public Affairs at Clubs NSW
According to Mr. Landis, the new policy could help for further reduction of problem gambling rates after the assistance of experts in the field, as they would be able to make an assessment whether people actually have a problem or not.
Clubs NSW Joins Forces with the State Government
Mr. Landis has further explained that Clubs NSW had been insisting for the implementation of third-party exclusions for a decade now, but the matter was a complex one as it raised some ethical and legal issues which had taken some time in order to be solved.
He confirmed that the Clubs NSW is now working in collaboration with the State Government in order to make sure that the current legislation is changed in a way set to make people in a difficult situation are protected. In addition, he shared that third-party exclusion will also give problem gamblers’ families who have already suffered from their addiction to make a statement and protect the people they love from the devastating impact on their finances, physical and mental health.
Tony Mohr, who is the Alliance for Gambling Reform’s executive director, commented on the new memorandum of understanding between Clubs NSW and the State Government, saying that there was actually no evidence suggesting that third-party exclusions would be effective to tackle gambling-related harm and reduce problem gambling rates.
He said that many gambling addicts conceal their gambling activities from their families, so they are usually the last ones to know that their loved ones have a problem, whereas clubs normally keep detailed information about the amount of money being lost, as existing legislation requires them to do so. Mr. Mohr shared that the Alliance for Gambling Reform would prefer to see some more action from the State Government in order to bring some changes to the regulation to require those clubs to be more responsible in terms of gambling addicts protection.