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 As of last month, almost 3,900 people rescinded their formerly-lifetime Missouri casino gambling bans.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.

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