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Responsible conduct of gambling study
reportposted on 02.08.2021, 00:49 by Nerilee HingNerilee Hing, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell, Vijay RawatVijay Rawat
In New South Wales (NSW), the Gaming Machines Act 2001 and the Gaming Machines Regulation 2010 require venues to implement a minimum set of practices in the responsible conduct of gambling (RCG); and all managers of venues with gaming machines and all employees and club directors with gaming machine duties, must complete an accredited RCG training course. There has not been a recent comprehensive examination undertaken in NSW into the effectiveness of RCG programs and training in facilitating RCG in clubs and hotels. This research was conducted to assist in building an evidence-base with which to consider future options for enhancements to RCG requirements, practices and training. Its overarching objective was to contribute to the review and potential improvement of RCG practices in NSW venues. Methods This study involved a three-staged triangulated approach including: 1. Rapid review of the literature: This was undertaken to provide background to the study and inform the survey design. The review included current frameworks used nationally and internationally for the promotion of RCG programs and training, barriers and enablers for RCG, as well as the evidence for effective RCG training. The review covered both academic papers and grey literature over the past eight years, and beyond where relevant. 2. Survey of RCG accredited staff: An anonymous online survey was completed by 2,298 frontline staff, supervisors/managers and directors of clubs and hotels in NSW. They were recruited by the Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG) which has access to the email addresses of RCG cardholders. The ORG invited all cardholders who had undertaken RCG training within the past five years to participate. Respondents were also restricted to those employed in a NSW club or hotel at the time of the survey. Completed surveys were collected directly by the CQU researchers. 3. Focus groups: Four focus groups with 20 participants working in NSW clubs and hotels (11 supervisors/managers, 9 frontline staff) were held in Sydney and Wollongong, and were designed to gain a richer understanding of the survey results. Participants were recruited from survey respondents who indicated their willingness to participate. Key findings • NSW clubs and hotels use an informed choice approach to RCG. • Most employees reported that their venue implements regulated RCG practices but some were aware of illegal practices occurring. • Employees reported being responsive to patrons asking for help for their gambling, but monitoring of self-exclusion has numerous deficiencies. • Very few patrons directly ask for help for their gambling. • Employees report regularly observing patrons showing signs of problem gambling, but rarely approach those who do not ask for help, or report them upwards. • Genuine management commitment to patron welfare can improve some RCG practices, but these venues were reported to be in the minority. • The current approach to RCG is having little positive impact on harm prevention or reduction. • Other jurisdictions are increasingly moving towards a harm minimisation approach. • Substantial changes to RCG practices and training in NSW are needed to meaningfully minimise gambling harm.