That could mean that you’re driving up to Vegas from LA and ran out of gas before you got too far. But in this case, it’s about a group of thousands of admitted problem gamblers who’ve filed a class action lawsuit against the government corporation that owns Ontario (Canada) casinos. From the CBC:
A $3.5-billion proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched on behalf of thousands of addicted gamblers who allege they asked to be barred from Ontario’s casinos, but were still allowed in.
The suit was filed against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation on Tuesday in Toronto, claiming that the corporation did not do enough for those who signed up for “self-exclusion,” a program that allows people to have themselves banned from casinos so that they can curb their ruinous gambling habits.
None of the allegations has been proven in court and a statement of defence has not yet been filed.
Those who sign up for the program are photographed and registered, and their information is stored in binders at every provincial casino. If they are caught trying to enter a casino, they can be arrested for trespassing.
But gamblers who spoke with CBC News on condition of anonymity said the program doesn’t work. One woman said she registered for the program, but her gambling addiction led her back to a casino soon after.
“I walked through, no one looked at me,” she said. “I kept gambling for the next couple of years.”
Lawyers say the OLG should be using high-tech systems to catch self-banned gamblers. In the Netherlands, gamblers present photo identification at casinos, and their identification is checked against a computer database, lawyers say.
Problem gamblers hit Ontario casinos with $3.5B lawsuit
There seems to be some precedent here, since the OLGC has settled 9 individual suits pertaining to self-exclusion out of court. But this might be going too far.
From the casino’s perspective, self-exclusion has some problems (pardon the pun). As card-counters wearing disguises, etc, prove, if someone is dead set on gambling in a casino, even if they are on a watch list, it’s very hard to exclude them. Of course, if they do something that raises their profile, like win a jackpot over the tax threshold, they’ll be discovered when they have to show ID.
One way to make sure that no one who’s gambling has excluded themselves is to make sure everyone who enters a casino has a player’s card, as is done in Missouri. But these are gambling barges with relatively low capacities and, by their nature, one or two entrances.
This system couldn’t work in Nevada casinos without extensive retrofits, since thousands of people who don’t gamble pass through the casino en route to restaurants, shows, convention space, or their rooms. The millions of gamblers who don’t have a problem would also view it as excessively intrusive. Getting carded every time you walk through a casino stops being fun a few months after you turn 21 and can legally enter.
If there are thousands of people on self-exclusion lists, it ludicrous to ask casino employees to bear the responsibility of actively seeking them out and barring them. Until we invent the Matrix-type system where you can download knowledge without all that tedious studying, I don’t think you could find a way to have employees do this.