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Can Casino Data Identify Gambling Addicts ?

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posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 04:03 AM
Wasn't sure which forum to put this in but since the last 2 or 3 threads I've done have been moved to 'Chit Chat' well I'll put it here. MODS please feel free to move.....

People who like to go to Casinos and play, whether slot machines, card tables etc. are offered what is called a Players Card. This card has your info on it and keeps track of how much is spent and in return, it gives you points.
Those points in turn can be used for comps such as free room stay, food, show discounts, free concerts.
Naturally, they more you play, the more you spend, the more points you accumulate.

I'm very familiar with this being as my husband first took me to Vegas when I was 19.
[27 yrs. ago ...
He likes to play the slots. We started off first with the $1 slots. Then when Louisiana/Mississippi built their casinos, we started going there.
Then we advanced from $1 to $5.....then we got daring and tried the $10 slots.
Yes, we won money but we also lost money.

Our choice, our decision.
No body made us do it.
It was for fun.
Money we could afford to loose.

Now the article here at first glance gave me the impression it was to help identify people with gambling problems.
But the more I read and reread, it sounds as though they want to hold the Casinos responsible for a person's lack of judgement as to how much they spend.

True, they send out freebie incentive stuff to lure people but to have Casinos keep track of a person's playing habits and whether or not they are an addict is a difficult task. Nor should they be held responsible if some one blows their rent money or mortgage payment.

That is just making an excuse for the person that lost their money and passing the responsibility onto some one else.

I'm sorry, but when we go to play and lose money, it's no one's fault but ours.
No way would I hold the Casino responsible for our lapse in judgement.
Or run of bad luck.

And it is impossible to determine how much is too much for a person to be spending.
Every individual is different.
And the Casino has no way of knowing what is in their savings account. They only have the word of the player.

Casinos do have hot line numbers posted for people that are in need of help with their addiction problem.
But the problem with addicts, they don't or won't acknowledge that they have a problem.
Kinda like a drinker.
Ever tell some one that they have a drinking problem? Not a pretty picture and instant flat out denial.

In the past, the traditional method for diagnosing gambling addiction relied on individuals answering questions about their emotional dependence on gambling and its effect on their finances and relationships. Now, some researchers say that while no behavioral-tracking system can formally diagnose anyone with a disorder, it can strongly suggest who is at risk.

So far, U.S. courts consistently have rejected arguments that casinos are liable for the behavior of addicted patrons. But some attorneys trying to take on gambling companies say that if behavioral tracking truly can identify potential problem gamblers, the legal tide could turn, similar to the way bar owners have been found partly at fault for serving visibly intoxicated patrons who cause drunken-driving accidents.

For their part, casinos have tried to address gambling addiction by devoting millions of dollars to fund various research projects. Many have instituted limited efforts to address the issue on their properties, including looking for outward signs of distress and allowing patrons to ask the casino to bar them.

"You're talking about trying to diagnose a mental health disorder," says Alan Feldman, a spokesman for MGM Resorts International. "I don't know too many nonprofessionals who are trained to do that offhand." Jan Jones Blackhurst, a Caesars spokeswoman, says that while some of the new science may be helpful, claims that troubled gamblers can be identified from their play are "hogwash."

The only one responsible in a situation like this is the person doing the gambling.
No one else.
No one mad them walk through those doors.
No one made them put money in a machine or on the card table.

If I sound harsh, I have the right to.
I've been there, done it, seen it.

I will have to admit, you can get caught up in the fun and thrill of being treated like some one special by the Hostess and all the comps that are given to you.
But you have to separate reality from fantasy.
And remember, those bills will still be waiting for you at the first of the month to be paid.


**If you have a problem with link, copy/paste the url address from the link provided onto Google and it should bring up full article**

edit on 5-8-2013 by snarky412 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 04:52 AM
Times are different. These days there is a duty of care on places like this to ensure that people at risk are not taken advantage of.

We've had similar things down here with pokie machines in pubs. Where people often with alcohol problems are also enticed to spend the rest of the months rent and food money on slot machines.

If someone shows signs of being incapable of stopping themselves, then the establishment probably should do something.

Having said that, I agree with you. If I choose to spend all my cash on a asino and then spend the rest of the month without food, as long as it only affects me, that's my issue. I don't want people assuming anything about me based on my activity... but that's my personal choice. And I can't speak for the thousands of people who sit on their hands and blame everyone else for their own problems.

posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 05:35 AM
reply to post by snarky412

I think it's very tricky to say who is responsible, or if either party should take the full responsibility.
I didn't notice any question in the OP, so will just make a few remarks. Please let me know if I go off topic.

The interesting thing is, that while the system might be able to identify possible gambling addicts, with the intention of stopping them. It is mostly likely already being used for data mining. Where the casinos can look at the behavior of their customers and by looking at that determine certain patterns that they might be able to use or alter, so as to target the customer as well as possible.
Through my internship at a large NGO I've become acquainted with the concept of data mining, and other general marketing techniques. I do think it's a very difficult subject, and the lines between informing and manipulating are often very thin.

Also I think it's worth mentioning, that most addicts - both gamblers, alcoholics and others, say that the biggest problem they have with beating their habits, is that they are constantly exposed to the opportunity of getting another hit. That out of sight really is out of mind - and studies confirm this. So even though it is their own choice to throw away their money, their behavior is undoubtedly influenced by multiple external factors.

There is always three things to look at in these kind of situations:

Who are the individuals, in this case gambling addicts. What kind of people are they, what motivates them etc.
What is the situation/enviroment, in this case the casino and their general lives. How does these influence their behavior, is there any oversight, is there any encouragement towards bad behavior.
Who has the power to change the framework of the situation. Which in this case is both the casino, the gambler and the government.

As you said - no one is forcing them to gamble, so the gambler does share the responsibility, but it is undoubtedly the casinos themselves or the government who has the most power/ability to change the situation, but perhaps not a very big interest to do so.

It's a tricky subject.

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