Consumer Perspectives of a Multi-Venue Gambling Self-Exclusion Program: A Qualitative Process Analysis
Keywords:gambling-related harm, responsible gambling, harm minimization, gambling intervention, self-exclusion, problem gambling, gambling disorder, qualitative methods
Self-exclusion is an important harm minimization strategy implemented by gambling operators to restrict a problem gambler’s access to gambling opportunities. Aspects of self-exclusion, including low uptake and non-compliance, limit the effectiveness of programs. Research that considers the consumer perspective is needed to enhance the perceived utility of self-exclusion in the target audience. Twenty interviews were conducted with current (n = 13) and former (n = 7) participants of a multi-venue self-exclusion program for land-based gaming machine venues in New South Wales, Australia. Participants were asked open-ended questions about their experiences and opinions of the program, including its strengths and weaknesses, and suggested improvements for future consumers. Overall, participants found self-exclusion beneficial. However, several shortcomings of the program were expressed, including lack of available public information and overly complicated registration processes. Participants lacked confidence in venues’ willingness and ability to identify non-compliant gamblers and highlighted the need for vastly improved detection systems. The quality of interactions with venue staff in relation to self-exclusion were mixed; counsellor support, however, was perceived as important from beginning to end of a self-exclusion period. Results suggest that gambling operators should increase marketing efforts to promote the availability and benefits of self-exclusion. Investigation of strategies to streamline registration processes and to augment detection systems with new technologies was supported. Venue staff may benefit from training in appropriate self-exclusion facilitation procedures. Gambling operators should aim to foster strong links between self-exclusion programs and professional gambling counselling services.
L’auto-exclusion est une importante stratégie de minimisation des méfaits mise en œuvre par les exploitants de jeux d’argent afin de limiter l’accès des joueurs pathologiques aux occasions de jeu. Certains aspects de l’auto-exclusion, notamment la faible participation et la non-conformité, limitent toutefois l’efficacité des programmes. Des recherches tenant compte de la perspective du joueur sont nécessaires pour renforcer l’utilité perçue de l’auto-exclusion auprès du public cible. Vingt entretiens ont été menés auprès de participants actuels (n = 13) et anciens (n = 7) d’un programme d’auto-exclusion multi-sites pour les salles de jeux de hasard en Nouvelle-Galles-du-Sud, en Australie. On a posé aux participants des questions ouvertes sur leurs expériences et leurs opinions sur le programme, y compris ses forces et ses faiblesses, et sur des améliorations à apporter pour les futurs participants. Dans l’ensemble, les participants ont trouvé le programme d’auto-exclusion bénéfique. Toutefois, plusieurs lacunes du programme ont été signalées, notamment le manque d’informations disponibles dans le public et des processus d’inscription excessivement compliqués. Les participants manquaient de confiance en la volonté et la capacité des propriétaires de sites d’identifier les joueurs non conformes, et ils ont souligné la nécessité d’améliorer considérablement les systèmes de détection. La qualité des interactions avec le personnel des lieux concernant l’auto-exclusion était mitigée; le soutien des conseillers a toutefois été perçu comme important du début à la fin de la période d’auto-exclusion. Les résultats laissent croire que les exploitants de jeux d’argent devraient intensifier leurs efforts de publicité pour promouvoir la disponibilité et les avantages de programmes d’auto-exclusion. La recherche de stratégies visant à rationaliser les processus d’inscription et à améliorer les systèmes de détection par de nouvelles technologies a été encouragée. Les membres du personnel des sites peuvent bénéficier d’une formation sur les procédures appropriées de facilitation pour l’auto-exclusion. Les exploitants de jeux devraient s’efforcer d’établir des liens étroits entre les programmes d’auto-exclusion et les services de conseillers professionnels en matière de jeu.
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