Sunday, April 22, 2012

Self-Reporting Self-Exclusion Enforcement Lapses

The purposely enigmatic title of this post refers to those occasions when a self-excluded gambler sneaks back into the casino, or is sent promotional material that is verboten under the exclusion agreement. The problem is, of course, that excluded gamblers are among the best customers for a casino. Casino owners, therefore, would seem to have a significant monetary incentive to look the other way when a self-excluder presents him or herself at the gambling venue. To counter this incentive, regulators subject casinos to fines when they fail to enforce exclusion agreements. An Illinois casino once was fined $800,000 for marketing to self-excluded customers.

The newest (and most popular) Illinois casino is the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, which opened in July, 2011. It was a little slow in figuring out this self-exclusion thing, though: "In its first few weeks of operation, the northwest suburban casino sent promotional materials to four people, authorized two cash advances to one person and issued players’ rewards cards to seven others, all of whom are in the self-exclusion program, said Gene O’Shea, spokesman for the Illinois Gaming Board." The fine was $25,000, which represents a discount due to the self-reporting of the violations.

Attempted violations of self-exclusion orders are common. Rivers Casino, according to the linked article, caught 149 people on the self-exclusion list at the casino premises through March 1, 2012.