Since the signing into law of the Gambling Act, the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand has not taken any action.
However, just recently, they’ve finally made their first move when a gambling venue manager was not able to fulfil their responsibility and failed to identify a problem gambler.
Penalty for Failing to Identify Problem Gambling
This may sound too much for others, this event is actually considered to be a criminal act and the gambling venue is now penalized for $5000 and given a criminal conviction.
While the government organization did not agree to disclose the name of the gambling venue, it was confirmed that the offender isn’t connected to a casino, but rather a pub or bar.
The First Case
There are many gambling crimes happening around the world, but this is particularly worth noting since it’s the first case where a gambling venue has failed to identify a problem gambler.
The spokesperson of the government organization stated that it’s the responsibility of gambling venues to identify such gamblers as they are responsible for providing the services considered to be the underlying cause of the problem.
What is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is when a gambler cannot stop gambling regardless of whether his/her actions are bringing negative effects to their lives. This is often noticeable with the gambler’s behaviour and it’s particularly easy to identify one problem gambler.
This is precisely why the Department of Internal Affairs has no reason to pass off such incidents where gambling venues fail to identify problem gamblers.
No Excuses for the Failure
Gambling operators don’t have any excuses for their failure of identifying a problem gambler, since they have the proper procedure and policies of identifying such problems, and they’re even trained to do so.
It’s stated that the majority of New Zealand residents agree to this move stating that it’s only reasonable to prosecute those who fail to fulfil this responsibility, despite having the ability to do so.
“It should be the obligations of gambling facilities to take the steps necessary to identify and reform a problem gambler receiving their services.”
The Department of Internal Affairs also stated that they won’t allow any gambling venue to continue operating unless they are knowledgeable about this underlying problem of the gambling community.
What Does the Gambling Act Say?
Under the Gambling Act, the staff of gambling venues are required to take the steps necessary to identify such cases and once they do, it should be clear that they should offer help.
This responsibility of gambling facilities is legal and failing to fulfil it is considered as an illegal act. Being found guilty of such criminal act can lead to a penalty of $5000.
It may even result in a criminal conviction, which may result in the barring of that certain person from being involved in the gambling business.
There are cases where problem gambling can’t be stopped, in which case it’s no longer an illegal act.
However, it would be when the gambling venue ignores problem gamblers as it’s believed to be an act done only when the gambling facility does not care about the players and instead prioritizes profits above anything else.