In alignment with executing the responsibilities of a self-exclusion casino, both The Regina and Moose Jaw Casinos have introduced a new policy as of October 1, 2015 to whereby problem gamblers will be unable to claim any winnings they may have secured.
This does not apply to all problem gamblers at either self-exclusion casino, just the current 545 casino goers who voluntarily signed their own personal self-exclusion order.
The policy put in place by the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, a Crown corporation owned by the Government of Saskatchewan since it established the set up and operation of the Casino Regina in 1996, is called a "Disentitlement Policy," and allows for SaskGaming to withhold prizes, cash and credits.
Saskatchewan Gaming Corporations manager of responsible gaming, Laurie Norman, said that the principle purpose of the idea is to remove the main reason why many problem gamblers gamble in the first place.
Saskatchewan is Canada's second jurisdiction to implement these kind of rules and follows on the lead that has already been set by British Columbia. That said the government amended some of the gaming regulations that had originally been implemented by BC, as they had somewhat of a legal mess on their hands when they first tried to introduce such a policy back in 2009.
Norman stated that the disentitlement policy was something that they only instigated not originated. This it is claimed was at the request of the problem gamblers themselves, who had asked for such a self-exclusion program that had the powers to walk the talk, or as they put it, a program with "more teeth."
The Gambling Awareness Program Director Shauna Altrogge which is run through the Canadian Mental Health Association said that she "applauds the industry" on their new policy, at the same time stressing the need for a vigilant eye on keeping those who have already taken steps to self-exclude from the casino premises in the first instance.
Shauna Altrogge went on to say that since the chance to win money was a "significant motivator in relation to gambling," if the former casino goer has self-excluded themself and is now familiar with the new policy, it may well serve as a disincentive for them to further try and gamble, if ahead of time they now know they will not be allowed to keep any money that they win.
In 2010-2011, 166 people sought out problem gambling advice from the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region, last year that number dropped significantly and was down to 108, Moose Jaw dropped from 15 down to 0.
Laurie Norman said they will see how things go with the self-exclusion casino. She added: "The ideal situation would be that we never have to implement this, because everybody (with a self-exclusion order) just stays out."
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