Gamblers may impose own casino ban

Problem gamblers could ban themselves from all of Great Yarmouth’s arcades and card tables to tackle their addiction.

It is hoped more than 50 gambling premises in the borough will sign up to the Count Me Out gambling self- exclusion programme by February.

Many people are getting hooked on gambling as they see it as a way to make money during the credit crunch, but once they are addicted to gambling it can lead to crime.

The project is the brainchild of PC Gary Pettengell, of Yarmouth police station, and would see addicted gamblers signing a form which would be distributed to all premises saying they should not be allowed to gamble.

A pilot scheme has seen four problem gamblers ban themselves from some casinos and arcades in the resort.

But after a recent meeting of gambling operators, PC Pettengell is now optimistic that by the end of February all gambling establishments, with the support of the borough council, will have joined the programme.

It is also hoped that the owners of the proposed Las Vegas-style casino for the town will eventually sign up to the project.

And by the end of 2009, PC Pettengell wants the self-exclusion scheme to be taken up by 15 other councils which have been granted government permission to set up regional and super casinos.

He said: “Many people are now seeing gambling as a way of getting out of the recession. Once they have gambling debts, they could get involved in crime. That is why the self-exclusion scheme is needed.”