Monday, April 28, 2014

Illinois Update

Video gambling in non-casino locations came to Illinois in September, 2012. Eligible bars, truck stops, and other locales can host up to five video gambling terminals in an adults-only portion of their establishments. There are now more than 16,000 video gambling terminals operating in Illinois at a total of more than 4,000 establishments. There is no self-exclusion system in place for gamblers on these machines. These thousands of locations and small-scale operations are cited as reasons that a self-exclusion program would not be implementable, but the fact that the locations are adult-only means that there must already be in place a system capable of checking IDs.

The article linked above (and here) offers a few statistics on Illinois's statewide casino self-exclusion plan. In mid-April, 2014, there were more than 10,600 people on the self-exclusion list. Since the initiation of the program in 2002, "there have been 3,477 instances where self-excluded gamblers had been caught [in violation of their exclusion orders], with 3,399 of the incidents resulting in arrests." Many of these violators are caught when they win a jackpot exceeding $1,200, as the collection of such winnings requires identification. When a "winner" is found to be on the self-excluded list, he or she is not allowed to keep the jackpot. So far, casinos have "confiscated $1.5 million of winnings from self-excluded gamblers, who then get to decide which of three addiction centers their money goes to."

[The headline and the early part of the linked article might be confusing to the Self-Exclusion reader, as these refer to excluding some undesirable people from operating on the supply side of video gambling. The material on voluntary exclusions for gamblers comes later in the article.]

Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Jersey Adds Internet Exclusion

In November, 2013, New Jersey became the third US state to permit gambling over the internet, following Nevada and Delaware, and the state expanded its self-exclusion program with options involving internet gambling. People on New Jersey's casino self-exclusion list automatically had their exclusion extended to internet gambling. This is in keeping with the fact that New Jersey's exclusion program does not currently allow, it seems, someone to exclude from casinos while maintaining the option to bet on the internet. The opposite configuration, where a person can exclude from the internet but not from the bricks-and-mortar casinos, is available in New Jersey, however.

New Jersey appears poised to alter its self-exclusion rules, which currently require self-excluders to confess to being a "problem gambler." There can be many motives to self-exclude, and not everyone who wants to self-exclude is a problem gambler. [I haven't checked, but my suspicion is that many jurisdictions have a similar admission required for their self-exclusion agreements. While I am engaging in uninformed speculation, I think that this language might have been thought important to provide legal protection for casinos attempting to enforce exclusion agreements. And if I can continue speculating wildly, the change in New Jersey law may have been sparked by some old fashioned journalism.]

Currently, only adults located within the state borders can engage in internet gambling. (This is true for all three of the states that currently offer legal internet gambling.) Some lawmakers in New Jersey are looking to alter that situation.

Comparative Exclusions

Population of Illinois: 12,882,135 (estimated, 2013).
Number of people in Illinois Casino Self-Exclusion Program: 9,637 (end of 2012; the Self-Exclusion Program was founded in 2002).

Population of Singapore: 5,399,200 (estimated, mid-2013).
Number of people in Singapore's Casino Self-Exclusion Program: 175,680 (late 2013; the Self-Exclusion Program -- including Family Exclusions and Third-Party Exclusions -- was begun in 2009. Some 90% of those on the excluded list are foreigners who live or work in Singapore).