Venue staff knowledge of their patrons’ gambling and problem gambling


In several jurisdictions around the world, venue staff are encouraged to make reasonable attempts to determine whether patrons may be experiencing problems associated with their gambling. Although a number of visible indicators and behaviours are recognised as being indicative of gambling problems, no research has investigated how effective staff might be in identifying problem gamblers in venues. The aim of this field test was to examine the level of patron familiarity amongst staff working in small to moderate-sized venues. Patrons (n = 303) were asked to complete a short survey including the Problem Gambling Severity Index and venue staff were asked to describe their knowledge of the same patrons independently. The results showed that patrons rated as more at risk by staff scored significantly higher on the {PGSI}, but that point-in-time staff ratings were not sufficiently accurate to allow effective identification of problem gamblers. The importance of using accumulated information over multiple sessions as well as technological monitoring of behaviour was emphasised by these results.

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