Self-Exclusion Schemes-Sweden and France updates

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 14 Jan 2021, 12:17 p.m.

A recent study from the Lund University has revealed that almost 40% of the Swedes that have requested to be self-excluded from licenced iGaming sites are still gambling online. The majority of them or more than 50% have gambled using online casinos, while 16% continued to take part in online sports betting activities. However, the regulators have addressed the fact that some of the study’s content referred to brick and mortar casino gaming.

A loophole that requires a new approach

A.Håkansson and C.Widinghoff, the analysts who have conducted this research, have concluded that even a nationwide self-exclusion plan does not eliminate the gambling risk. While this is indeed a useful tool to prevent gambling harm, there needs to be more in-depth analysis in consumers’ behaviour to evaluate and optimise the aftereffects.

The Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) has said that it is incredibly reckless and inappropriate for consumers to continue gambling while self-excluded. On the other hand, we’ve reported just recently that only 5% of players in Sweden know how to check if the operator is legal and transparent in its operations. The temptation and the urge for vulnerable people to reach out to gambling-related activities is a serious challenge. In the future, the regulator hopes that they’ll implement appropriate solutions to minimise the risk or roll-out special timeline programs. The currently inspected data is relatively small, but they will indeed consider these insights.

France is simplifying the application process

While the Swedes face challenges regarding self-exclusion programs, the French gambling regulator has upgraded its platform and self-exclusion process. Before this upgrade, players were obliged to visit the nearest police station and request a self-exclusion application. Now, the registration and all processes that follow will take place online.

The Authoritè Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) plans to introduce a three-step digital process, making it much easier for players that wish to self-exclude. This system would reduce the pending period to a maximum of two weeks. Previously, that period lasted for about six weeks. The ANJ took charge of the national self-exclusion programme since the end of December 2020, taking the responsibilities from the French Ministry of the Interior.

The self-exclusion period would last for three years. After this period, the players would be able to request for the block to be removed.

Mario Blaise, a psychiatrist and a behavioural analyst, says that this service should ease the process for players wishing to self-exclude. In general, when one method seems too complicated or requires many steps, people give up and try to bypass or avoid it. He further admits that time is crucial for people who have requested to participate in this programme to help players in difficulty. 

The ANJ has reported that over 38,000 French citizens are currently self-excluded from gambling sites.

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