Date: 11 Feb 2014

A Process Evaluation of a Self-Exclusion Program: A Qualitative Investigation from the Perspective of Excluders and Non-Excluders

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This paper draws on a process evaluation of Queensland’ self-exclusion program to examine how people use the program, motivations for self-excluding, barriers to use, experiences and perceptions of program elements, and potential improvements. Detailed, reflective, first-person accounts were gathered through interviews with 103 problem gamblers, including excluders and non-excluders. Identified strengths include the program’s widespread availability. Many self-excluders reported positive experiences with responsive, knowledgeable, respectful venue staff. Major weaknesses include low publicity, limited privacy and confidentiality, the need to exclude individually from venues, and deficiencies in venue monitoring for breaches, which hinder the program’s capacity to meet harm minimisation objectives. While the program reaches some problem gamblers, others are delayed or deterred from self-excluding by low awareness, shame and embarrassment, difficulties of excluding from multiple venues, and low confidence in venue staff to maintain confidentiality and provide effective monitoring. Potential improvements include wider publicity, off-site multi-venue exclusion, and technology-assisted monitoring.