Why recording your Class 4 observations and interventions is so important
8 September 2022
Every venue that operates Class 4 Gaming Machines has a responsibility and obligation to monitor their customers for signs of problem gambling. A key part of the monitoring process is recording observations and interactions, so that informed decisions can be made as to whether a customer is experiencing gambling harm, and whether an intervention or further action is required.
You must have a formal process for recording observations and interaction, this usually comes in the form of a logbook.
The Clubs New Zealand Gaming Compliance Folders contain easy to use, standardised incident and intervention forms which we recommend all clubs use. The forms are designed to make it easy for your staff to record their observations: they can tick any general or strong signs that they have identified, the action taken and any comments that they may have.
The completed forms should then be placed within the appropriate section of the completed forms manual where they will be regularly reviewed.
During audits or visits to your venue, the Department of Internal Affairs will be looking for evidence of regular monitoring and one of the first things they will look to see is your logbook or completed gambling forms manual.
Why is recording observations and monitoring so important?
Gambling Harm often develops over time, starting with perhaps one or two general signs of harm. These early signs can be subtle, so monitoring, recording and reviewing observations is critical to building an overall picture, that will enable you to determine whether a customer is experiencing gambling harm, and identify the most appropriate action to take.
In addition to being subtle, the signs of gambling harm often manifest over time, meaning that different staff may observe different behaviour, in order to have a clear picture you need to be able to bring all those observations together.
The goal is to be able to intervene as early as possible.
All staff must be aware of their obligations to monitor customers for signs of gambling harm and how they record their observations
Reviewing your Incident and Intervention records
If a person starts to show any of the general signs of a problem gambler, the first step is for the club staff to enquire whether they are OK. This early, low level intervention is discussed further below.
If a person over a period of time shows a pattern of behaviour that would indicate they are experiencing gambling harm or demonstrates any of the strong signs of gambling harm, formal, high-level intervention should be undertaken by the venue manager or designated person.
More information on low-level and high-level interventions can be found in the Clubs New Zealand Gaming Compliance Manuals, on the website www.clubsnz.org.nz and via Clubs New Zealand's Harm Minimisation Training.
If you or your club needs harm minimisation training or have any questions regarding your harm minimisation obligations please contact National Office on 0800 425 827.