British Gambling Trade Association NCF Introduces SENSE to UK Land-Based Casinos
In anticipation of the forthcoming licensing condition, which the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is set to impose effective April 06, 2016, the National Casino Forum (NCF) has taken a proactive step of launching a multi-operator self-exclusion program to which licensed UK land-based casinos can participate.
The NCF responsible gambling initiative called SENSE, which stands for Self-Enrolment National Self- Exclusion, will enable land-based casino operators to institute a voluntary self-exclusion scheme that they could offer immediately to their customers. Doing so will also make the UK-licensed gambling operator compliant, ahead of the deadline set by the UKGC in the institution of the mandatory self-exclusion system.
According to NCF CEO Tracy Damestani, NCF represents more than 98% of Great Britain’s land-based casinos; all of which commit to implement the SENSE system. CEO Damestani added that NCF members were one in arriving at a decision to found the first national self-exclusion program.
She conveyed that self-exclusion is a significant step for individuals who have come to recognise that they have problem gambling issues, which they commit to address and resolve. Moreover, NCF members are also aware of the need to put in place a system that is easy to use and accessible nationwide across all UK casino venues.
About NCF’s Self-Enrolment National Self- Exclusion (SENSE) Programme
The NCF website describes SENSE as a secure Internet-based system designed to contain the details of any individual who voluntarily enters the scheme. Those who wish to self-exclude for the first time can do so from any casino establishment located in Great Britain. Several care service providers nationwide, given direct access to the SENSE enrolment system, will be available to assist them.
The operator of the land-based casino with whom a customer has signified the intention to enroll in SENSE will read out the terms and conditions governing the voluntary self-exclusion programme, as well as secure the customer’s electronic signature via the enrolment form. A photo of the customer along with the electronically signed enrolment form will be uploaded to the SENSE system.
All participating casino operators will then receive notification about a customer’s official enrolment in SENSE. Immediately thereafter, the customer’s membership will be switched off, including any system that automatically sends marketing materials intended for him or her.
In the event that a SENSE enrolled customer tries to access a casino during his or her period of self-exclusion, the operator of the casino involved will note the occurrence in the SENSE system. Such step is necessary, in order to alert all other participating casinos about that particular customer’s attempt to gain access.
Under the SENSE programme, an enrolled customer is eligible for removal from SENSE only after completing the six-month exclusion period, while the actual removal takes effect only upon request of the enrolled customer.
The UKGC commented that The Commission sees the development of a sector-specific, self-exclusion method as a critical step, in furnishing greater protection to casino customers who need help in managing their gambling activities and behavior. The Commission further remarked that implementing SENSE prior to the deadline set by the UKGC is an important achievement. The UKGC also recognised that NCF members devoted considerable efforts and kept their full commitment to attain such achievement.