Why Self Exclude

Problem gamblers are very ambivalent towards their gambling and are often unable to stop. They waver from being desperate to stop and self exclude some days, to having just one last bet on others. The Count Me Out system makes it easier for problem gamblers to self exclude and far more difficult for them to resume gambling than under existing individually run company schemes. For example in a 3 mile radius around Great Yarmouth, Norfolk there are at least 35 separate gaming premises, made up of 2 casinos, 9 bookmakers, 2 Bingos, 1 Race Course, 1 Greyhound Track, 19 Amusement Arcades and 1 Adult Gaming Centre. The current legislation makes self exclusion from more than one premises very difficult if not impossible and information sharing impractical and potentially illegal. Currently, a problem gambler trying to resolve their addiction issues would have to personally visit each of the 35 gaming premises, complete 35 separate agreement forms and provide at least 35 separate photographs of themselves.

This is clearly hugely burdensome and completely de-motivates the problem gambler. The Count Me Out National scheme makes it very easy for a person to self exclude from any number premises both locally and nationally, and the information can be quickly, effectively and legally shared amongst all gaming premises including those the gambler hasn't specified. This allows for monitoring, engagement and support for the excluded, vulnerable person. Under the Count Me Out system a vulnerable person could self exclude from all these premises by completing just one agreement form and providing just two photographs. This system has also removed the necessity for them to go too a gaming premises to either collect or submit their Self Exclusion Agreement forms.

There are an estimated 300,000 problem gamblers in the UK and for every problem gambler there are on average 10 other people directly affected by their addiction. By providing effective and accessible national self exclusion the quality of life for problem gamblers and their families will be greatly improved. The 'Count Me Out' scheme makes it easier for someone to self exclude from several gambling establishments and sectors thus preventing addicted persons from gambling, encouraging them to engage with gambling and debt counsellors and enabling them to rebuild their lives, those of their family and to participate more fully in society. By effectively preventing vulnerable persons from gambling we will be able to help prevent the break-up of the family unit and people turning to crime in order to fund their addiction. Although the Gambling Act 2005 makes provisions for individual company self exclusion this falls a long way short of an effective coordinated national scheme.

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