The family exclusion order as a harm-minimisation measure for casino gambling: the case of Singapore
Av: Ester C. Goh, Vincent Ng, Brenda S.A. Yeoh
Singapore is one of the first jurisdictions in the world that has implemented a harm minimization model based on third party exclusion known as the Family Exclusion Order (FEO). Unlike other forms of third party exclusion practiced in other countries, family members in Singapore are able to apply for FEOs to prevent a gambler from entering the casinos, if the family has experienced harm caused by his/her gambling. In this study, 105 applicants for the FEO were sampled from all successful FEOs granted within a five-year period. Using a qualitative approach, this study attempts to illuminate the intricate issues experienced by family members that provided the impetus for them to apply for the FEO. While the extant literature posits self-exclusion as a superior tool of restraint as it involves the gambler’s personal motivation to curb gambling, this paper reports initial evidence of benefits resulting from family-imposed restraints from the perspective of family members. In particular, positive ratings of the FEO stemmed from a sense of relief experienced by mother and wife applicants. Possible reasons behind these positive outcomes are explicated using intrinsic motivation theory, with sensitivity to gender relations within the family.