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3 Protection of children and other vulnerable persons

3.5.2 - Self-exclusion – non-remote ordinary code

Applies to:

All non-remote licences and remote betting intermediary (trading rooms only) licences, but not gaming machine technical and gambling software licences

Ordinary code

These do not have the status of operator licence conditions but set out good practice. Operators may adopt alternative approaches to those set out in ordinary code provisions if they have actively taken account of the ordinary code provision and can demonstrate that an alternative approach is reasonable in the operator's particular circumstances; or that to take an alternative approach would be acting in a similarly effective manner. Ordinary codes of practice are admissible in evidence in criminal or civil proceedings and must be taken into account in any case in which the court or tribunal think them relevant, and by the Commission in the exercise of its functions; any departure from ordinary code provisions by an operator may be taken into account by the Commission on a licence review, but cannot lead to imposition of a financial penalty.

  1. Self-exclusion procedures should require individuals to take positive action in order to self- exclude. This can be a signature on a self-exclusion form.

  2. Individuals should be able to self-exclude without having to enter gambling premises.

  3. Before an individual self-excludes, licensees should provide or make available sufficient information about what the consequences of self-exclusion are.

  4. Licensees should take all reasonable steps to extend the self-exclusion to premises of the same type owned by the operator in the customer’s local area. In setting the bounds of that area licensees may take into account the customer’s address (if known to them), anything else known to them about the distance the customer ordinarily travels to gamble and any specific request the customer may make.

  5. Licensees should encourage the customer to consider extending their self-exclusion to other licensees’ gambling premises in the customer’s local area.

  6. Customers should be given the opportunity to discuss self-exclusion in private, where possible.

  7. Licensees should take steps to ensure that:

    1. the minimum self-exclusion period offered is of a duration of not less than 6 nor more than 12 months
    2. any self-exclusion may, on request, be extended for one or more further periods of at least 6 months each
    3. a customer who has decided to enter a self-exclusion agreement is given the opportunity to do so immediately without any cooling-off period. However, if the customer wishes to consider the self-exclusion further (for example to discuss with problem gambling groups), the customer may return at a later date to enter into self- exclusion
    4. at the end of the period chosen by the customer, the self-exclusion remains in place for a further 6 months, unless the customer takes positive action in order to gamble again
    5. where a customer chooses not to renew the self-exclusion, and makes a positive request to begin gambling again during the 6 month period following the end of their initial self-exclusion, the customer is given one day to cool off before being allowed access to gambling facilities. The contact must be made via telephone or in person
    6. notwithstanding the expiry of the period of self-exclusion chosen by a customer, no marketing material should be sent to them unless and until they have asked for or agreed to accept such material.
  8. The licensee should retain the records relating to a self-exclusion agreement at least for the length of the self-exclusion agreement plus a further 6 months.

  9. Please note that the Commission does not require the licensee to carry out any particular assessment or make any judgement as to whether the previously self-excluded individual should again be permitted access to gambling. The requirement to take positive action in person or over the phone is purely to a) check that the customer has considered the decision to access gambling again and allow them to consider the implications; and b) implement the one day cooling-off period and explain why this has been put in place.

  10. Licensees should have, and put into effect, policies and procedures which recognise, seek to guard against and otherwise address, the fact that some individuals who have self-excluded might attempt to breach their exclusion without entering a gambling premises, for example, by getting another to gamble on their behalf.

  11. Licensees should have effective systems in place to inform all venue staff of self-excluded individuals who have recently attempted to breach a self-exclusion in that venue, and the licensees neighbouring venues.

  12. In providing training to staff on their responsibilities for self-exclusion, licensees should have, as a minimum, policies for induction training and refresher training.

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