South Australia is boasting another successful step in responsible service of gaming with the no-cost introduction of Automated Risk Monitoring across all the State’s pubs and clubs.
South Australia has had its Central Monitoring System in place since 1994, where every venue with any gaming machines is connected to the network via a site controller.
The network is monitored by the Independent Gaming Corporation (IGC), operated on behalf of the government through a joint venture between AHA | SA and the licensed clubs. Venues pay a monthly fee.
Automated Risk Monitoring (ARM) is additional software that has been added to the Central Monitoring, that is triggered when players reach a specified spend amount or time continuously playing a machine.
ARM then notifies the gaming room operator via a discrete alarm, and the staffer is prompted to act on their training to mindfully approach, or at least observe the player in question.
The additional system, which comes at no additional cost to venues, expands upon the work of the IGC to train staff and managers in the practises of the AHA and Clubs associations’ own early intervention agencies, Gaming Care and Club Safe, helping those working in gaming rooms identify people with problems, how to relate to and approach them and offer suitable health agencies where needed.
“This is another tool to support the early intervention programs, which rely very heavily on human interaction,” says AHA | SA general manager Ian Horne of the ARM. “There’s no computer program, we believe, that will accurately address the issue of problem gambling.
“The important thing is, if someone is clearly in control, fine, but at least someone’s there to check.”
The system’s introduction comes seven months ahead of its legislated commencement in the Gaming Machines Act of South Australia, which evolved from decisions based in the Federal focus on poker machines during the Gillard minority government.
Several casinos, including Adelaide Casino, have similar systems in place, but without the complication of networking more than 500 venues of assorted sizes across the State.
The ARM system is a first for Australian states, and may lead to consideration in other jurisdictions.
Its cutting-edge mix of computer-based reliability and human interpretation makes for methodology that is less about prohibition or over-regulation, and more about a genuine approach to responsible service of gambling.