Self-exclusion, third party exclusion and the rights of children and families
Share this article:
THE month of November marks Responsible Gambling Month (NRGM) and will be commemorated till 10 December to coincide with 16 Days of activism against women and child abuse. NRGM aims to educate the public about the potential harmful effects of problem and addictive gambling whilst offering free confidential treatment and counselling to those negatively affected by a gambling disorder.
As part of the months' activities, the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARGF) hosted its second virtual panel discussion with Provincial Gambling Regulatory Boards, Licenced Operators, The Department of Trade Industry & Competition and Legal Aid South Africa, where stakeholders explored and unpacked the National Gambling Act concerning its provisions for the rights of families and children through self-exclusion and third-party exclusion.
When a Punter’s gambling patterns or behaviour shift from being a social and leisure activity to addictive, compulsive behaviour, they continue to gamble despite the negative consequences or impact it may have on their daily life and responsibilities and with no desire to stop. Probabilities are that they may be a problem gambler.
10 warning signs of Problem Gambling:
1. Having constant thoughts about and a preoccupation with gambling
2. Lying or concealing gambling activities from family and friends
3. Attempting to cover losses by further gambling
4. Taking extreme measures to get money with which to gamble
5. Preferring to gamble rather than attend other important events like family occasions
6. Feeling anxious or moody when not gambling
7. Accumulating large debt due to gambling activities
8. Experiencing a deterioration in close relationships as a result of gambling
9. Neglecting personal needs like sleeping, hygiene and eating in favour of gambling
10. Manipulating people into lending or giving money to be used in gambling
Problem gamblers can access help in one of three ways:
• By proactively contacting the National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRGP) tollfree confidential helpline 0800 006 008 or WhatsApp help to 076 675 0710
• If the problem gambler applies for self-exclusion status through their licenced Gambling Operator or their Provincial Gambling Regulatory Board
• Third-party exclusion through a court application process
The NRGP, an initiative of the SARGF supports the self-exclusion intervention as stipulated in the legislation. The role that the NRGP plays is providing counselling and support for the self-excluded individuals and their immediate family members. It is a legislated programme where a punter may wish to exclude themselves from gambling activities. In terms of the legislation, anyone can apply for exclusion. An individual that is excluded from gambling activities cannot take part in any gambling activity for a period of 6 months. During this period of exclusion, the NRGP offers Counselling to the excluded individual at no cost.
Request for self-exclusion
A request for exclusion can be obtained from the provincial gambling boards or any of the licenced gambling operators through their security departments.
Non-compliance with self-exclusion
It is the responsibility of the punter who requested to be self-excluded from participating in gambling to ensure that they comply with the terms of the self-exclusion. In cases of non-compliance, the punter may be denied access to a gambling establishment and in certain circumstances a charge for trespassing.
Upliftment of the self-exclusion order
Requests for the upliftment of the self-exclusion order will only be considered once the self-exclusion order has been in force for a period of 6 months and the punter proves that they have attended counselling sessions with one of our Treatment Professionals.
Third party exclusion
A person may apply to a court with competent jurisdiction for an order requiring the registration as an excluded person of:
(a) a family member of the applicant.
(b) a person on whom the applicant is economically dependent in whole or in part.
(c) a person for whom the applicant is economically responsible in whole or in part.
(d) a person who is subject to an order of a competent court holding that person to be mentally unfit; or
(e) any other person –to whom the applicant has a duty of care; and
(f) whose behaviour manifests symptoms of addictive or compulsive gambling