Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Internet Gambling Self-Exclusion in the EU...and Australia?

Last week the European Parliament passed a resolution concerning the regulation of online gambling. According to this article at, the Parliament recommends that the EU adopt an internet gambling self-exclusion system through which a gambler could exclude from all EU-state-licensed sites with one application. Further, each gambler could establish system-wide money and time limits, so that reaching the self-imposed money limit on one site could not be avoided just by going to a competing EU internet gambling provider.

Incidentally, Australia is contemplating legalizing internet gambling, and in establishing a national web gambling self-exclusion system. A second proposal is to require internet gambling sites to notify gamblers when their betting behavior is suggestive of problem gambling. Australia's new prime minister, Tony Abbott, has indicated that he does not support the previous government's efforts to make self-limitation mandatory for Electronic Gaming Machine play.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A New Low in Self-Exclusion Enforcement?

Many people who place themselves on self-exclusion lists attempt to return to casinos and gamble, in violation of their exclusion agreements, and often in the face of a potential arrest for trespassing. In the absence of regulatory oversight (or the potential for litigation), casinos would seem to have a profit incentive to turn a blind eye to these transgressions by some of their best, albeit excluded, customers. But there generally is such regulatory oversight, as Philadelphia's SugerHouse Casino found out in December, 2012, when it agreed to a $10,000 fine, in part for allowing a self-excluded gambler to gamble in its casino -- twice, with the second occasion involving a nearly four-day marathon session. The same fellow came back in February, 2013, and was uncovered by the casino as being on the excluded list as he was approaching three full days (including a nap in his car) of another protracted betting fest. Apparently he never gambled in one spot for very long, but still.... More details here and here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Iowa Self-Exclusion is for Life

Back in April, the Iowa legislature passed an amendment to the statewide self-exclusion program that would have established the option of a five-year duration, along with the existing lifetime ban. Further, the legislation would have allowed the thousands of people who already have agreed to a lifetime exclusion to apply for revocation of their self-imposed ban once five years of ban time have elapsed. Governor Branstad was having none of it, however. In a letter accompanying his veto (pdf here), he explains that "the voluntary lifetime ban serves a valuable public purpose." The proposed rule change would still have allowed for lifetime bans going forward, so apparently the governor was objecting to the retroactive alteration of lifetime bans to five-year bans with the opportunity for gambling reinstatement. Missouri adopted an analogous rule change, complete with retroactive shortening of lifetime bans, a couple years ago. As of last month, almost 3,900 people rescinded their formerly-lifetime Missouri casino gambling bans.

Incidentally, the Iowa Lottery has a separate self-exclusion system (which prevents the collection of winnings of $600 or more), which also comes in only one duration style, that of a lifetime. I think there is something to be said to offering one and five-year exclusion options, so that self-exclusion can be more enticing for people who are not quite ready to forever renounce their in-state gambling options.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

No Class-Action For Canadian Self-Excluders II

In Ontario, the Court of Appeal has affirmed earlier rulings that gamblers who self-excluded, but who were not effectively kept away from continued casino gambling, can not pursue a class action lawsuit against the casino operators, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The court upheld the trial judge's reasoning that potential liability was dependent on personal circumstances, so that the members of the would-be class were not sufficiently similarly situated to justify class certification. Individual lawsuits can still proceed, of course, and many in the past have led to substantial settlements.

Self-Exclusion noted the trial court ruling back in 2010, followed last year by the Court of Appeal's announcement of its willingness to hear the appeal. Here's a short video (with links to two more videos) on self-exclusion provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.