Self Exclusions Cost Winnings

Self Exclusions Cost Winnings

Several self-excluded gamblers might be wishing they had honoured their voluntary promise to casinos. Collectively, they have lost about $70,000 to casinos to date. The money will go toward a good cause – gambling addiction treatment and assistance for senior citizens, however, casinos may be fined for letting them play to begin with. Popular games that players like to play include European Roulette, Craps, Slots, Poker and Blackjack.

The Do Not Play List of Players

Gamblers who feel they are spending compulsively may register for self-exclusion, meaning they are voluntarily asking casinos to ban them. The gamblers may specify a period of time they would like to be banned in the agreement. In one case, and perhaps the most cash seized so far, a gambler registered and asked for lifetime bans from all area casinos in 2003. The gaming commission then contacted the casinos and stated the gambler was banned, which meant no winnings from any area casino could be issued to that particular gambler. In 2011, the gambler won approximately $54,000 in video poker. As the gambler went to collect the winnings, the casino wanted identification because of the large sum. It didn’t take long for the casino to identify the gambler, who was on the voluntary list for self-exclusion.

At the same casino, a patron won $675 in Blackjack. The gambler bet $200 - $300 each hand, using a credit card to get the cash for chips. Ten requests for cash from the credit card were previously denied. Casino security was finally alerted to the cash advances. The patron had volunteered for a one-year ban and was a couple months shy of fulfilling the year.  

Another gambler registered for a five-year ban in 2007. Last year, the gambler won $13,228 in Baccarat and went to cash in the chips. The chips were confiscated by the casino. The gaming commission firmly states it will stay active on the self-exclusion lists that explain anyone who registers is not allowed to take home winnings should they decide to sneak into the casinos, gamble and win. While the gaming commission is clear that it supports gamblers who believe they have a problem, it is adamant that gamblers know if they win, they also lose because they will not be allowed to claim any winnings.

Casinos Lose Too

An attorney for one of the casinos, said the list is priority for casino staff, however, thousands of people walk through the door every day and the casino cannot possibly know who all of the self-excluded gamblers are. But casinos too, even though they confiscated the winnings of the self-excluded, may be fined, unlike similar incidents in Canada. Four gamblers there paid fines of $250 each and one of the gamblers paid twice. The gamblers, who signed self-exclusion agreements, re-entered the casinos and were identified by casino staff. The gamblers couldn’t make themselves stay out of the casinos, so they requested the casinos get tougher. The casinos responded by subjecting the gamblers to tickets if they tried to return after promising to stay out. Casinos there are known to have their own group of officers that have the jurisdiction to issue the tickets.

The charge? Violating the agreement they signed to keep themselves out of casinos.

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