Senet Group: 888 case shouldn’t detract from self-exclusion success

Senet Group: 888 case shouldn’t detract from self-exclusion success

Tuesday, September 5, 2017 Posted by James Walker
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As the watchdog that provides the UK self-exclusion scheme, The Senet Group has insisted that the highly publicised failings of 888 shouldn’t undermine the importance of social responsibility programmes.

Aimed at preventing and managing problem gambling, self-exclusion allows a person to exclude themselves from multiple betting shops.

A spokesperson for The Senet told TotallyGaming.com: “We have online-only members and the big players across retail and online. But RGA and GamStop are delivering the online multi-operator scheme and know 100 times better than us what the issues are with online arrangements.

“We are staying in touch with them, looking at how we can make our arrangements as mutually supporting and joined up as possible. MOSES colleagues here have always been happy to record where a retail user/caller also wants to self-exclude offline.

“In any case, where the operators in question is party to the retail scheme we notify those operations. Going forward we will look at whether it make sense for any call support service for GamStop is located alongside the telephone-based MOSES registration scheme.”

Senet states that thereafter the primary duty rests with the individual. Adding that bookmakers are expected to do all they can to support these decisions to self-exclude, including intervening if someone who has self-excluded seeks to enter the premises and gamble.

The group has announced it understands the 888 finding is specific to that online company and its company-specific self-exclusion arrangements. The Gambling Commission found what they describe as “significant flaws” in the processes. The decision to impose a fine and to require repayments was a decision of the Commission and tied to what they found with 888.

Wanda Goldwag, chair of The Senet Group, said: “The Senet Group has had responsibility for the retail bookmaker multi-operator self-exclusion scheme (MOSES) for a year. The retail scheme covers over 8,000 individual premises and relies on the commitment of those who register and the best endeavors of shop staff across the land.

“Alongside the exclusion schemes run by each operator the central scheme has helped over 5,000 people as they seek to manage their gambling habits.

“Research we commissioned showed that the vast majority of those surveyed had succeeded in staying away from betting shops with 71% making no attempt to play and 80% saying the scheme had reduced or totally stopped their gambling.

“These schemes do not work for everyone. The reality is that those with a desperate need to gamble may find a way. But we must not let the past behaviour of one business undermine the value of self-exclusion as a tool in managing the risk of and harm from.”

Totally Gaming says: 888 was handed a record £7.8 million fine over “serious failings” in its handling of vulnerable customers. However, The Senet Group has insisted that a technical failing at 888 and subsequent ruling should not detract from the importance of its self exclusion schemes, while advising operators to retain faith in the programme.

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