Customer Self-Exclusion

Bingo Life looks at requirements for player support and the option to Self-exclude

The current Licencing Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) issued by the Gambling Commission require licensees to put procedures in place to allow individuals to self-exclude from gambling. Not only does this challenge operators on a site by site basis, but also entire industry sectors, as customers must be able to self-exclude across a geographical area, not just a single venue or chain. This licence condition puts trade associations and other bodies ‘centre stage’ in ensuring co-operation between operators and facilitating compliance.
In response to members’ needs, and in support of the Gambling Commission’s social responsibility objectives included in the requirements of the LCCP, The Bingo Association (BA) has teamed up with leading software developer ISD Computer Services, to develop The Bingo Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme.
ISD produce the Maxim membership system which is used by a large number of bingo operators to manage their membership activities. In light of this significant commonality, the need to access membership data and ISD expertise, the BA asked ISD to create a self-exclusion database and system that would both comply with licencing conditions and enable those not using 
ExclusionMaxim or ISD systems to participate. While the new System does not require users to have Maxim, as they can undertake a manual look-up via a secure internet connection, ISD have now made an entry-level Maxim system available to those operators who did not already use Maxim.
The Bingo Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme is a web-based product that will assist licensed bingo operators to help their customers and at the same time remain compliant. The Scheme allows BA members to work with and assist those customers who request help in managing their gambling behaviour which may be causing them a problem.
The Scheme will allow customers to self-exclude from licensed bingo premises: customers requesting to be excluded from gambling at licensed bingo premises will be interviewed by a designated member of staff, who will explain the process and consequences of self-exclusion. If the customer wishes to proceed, a Customer Self-Exclusion Application Form will be completed, signed and a photograph taken to accompany the form. All the details, including the image, are then recorded and held centrally. At their self-exclusion interview a customer will choose their period of self-exclusion. The minimum period is six months with twelve months being the maximum initial period that can be requested. Customers may chose to extend their period of self-exclusion, once their initial period has expired, and this can be done by requesting further periods of six to twelve months self-exclusion by completing additional self-exclusion request forms.
If a customer does not wish to visit the bingo premises to complete the self-exclusion form and interview, this can be done either by telephone or contact may be made online with the BA at The Association will then contact the customer and conduct the self-exclusion interview over the telephone, taking all details and completing the form, which will then be posted to the customer for signature and return with a photograph. The Scheme does require full consent by the individual for participation and data sharing. The system and database then allow Scheme members to check customers against the database of self-excluded individuals and refuse access to those who have self-excluded.
The BA has a number of members that are not traditional club venues with membership systems, including High Street venues and Holiday Parks, both of which have been accommodated in the scheme at the planning stage. High Street venues will self-exclude on a proximity basis using a SmartEXCLUSION tablet and API which will link to the database. The tablet uses geolocation to help operators identify those who have self-excluded from their geographical area. Holiday Parks face a greater challenge and for them a self-excluded customer is obliged to inform the Holiday Park before making a visit that they are self-excluded, in order to allow the Holiday Park to assist the customer to manage their self-exclusion.
Customers cannot choose to re-instate prior to the expiry of their period of self-exclusion. Following the expiry of their chosen period of self-exclusion some operators may require a customer to complete a 
re-instatement form. The details of this will then be uploaded as above and the database updated to reflect this change.
The BA requires that all scheme users keep the Self-Exclusion database up to date with the details of self-excluded customers, reinstatements and any breaches that have taken place. The system is currently completing final tests and all BA members will enter into an agreement and sub-licence, which sets out their obligations in using the scheme and their data protection responsibilities towards their customers.
In conjunction with the BA, ISD are producing user manuals and a training video. The BA Operators’ Handbook will shortly be updated to provide information about the scheme, in addition to which a suggested script for the self-exclusion interview will also be circulated to Scheme participants along with pads of self-exclusion request and reinstatement forms.
The Bingo Industry Self-Exclusion Scheme is due to go live on 1st March 2016. For more information please contact The Bingo Association on 01582 860921 or visit