Self Ban Dilemma: A Planned Letter To the Editor
November 16, 2017 9:22am CST
I am preparing to send letters to newspaper and TV editors concerning the problems of self banning for Compulsive Gamblers. If you are willing please read the letter below and give your thoughts (It is a bit long, sorry). To the Editor, I am a recovering Compulsive Gambler who has been clean for 10 years and I want to ask people to help push for a law change that makes sense. It involves activities that put some of the people I’ve talked to over the past few years at risk even as they try to stop. While my gambling was Scratch off tickets, many of the people I work with are casino gamblers. It has become clear to me that when a compulsive gambler ‘self-bans” that the Indian casinos don’t have any consequences for doing things that try to draw them back in. Let me explain what I mean by that. While the 3 Detroit Casinos have laws that prevent them from continuing to send emails and mailings to banned individuals, Indian Casinos do not have the same restrictions. Each Tribe is considered their own nation and as such, while they follow most of the same laws they do not have the same rules regarding casinos. If you ban from one casino it bans you from all of the ones run by that tribe but not from all Indian casinos. You have to go to each Tribal casino to be ‘self-banned’ and, while you may ask to be removed from their mailing lists, they may not follow through. Thus a person banned is not allowed on the property but the casino may still send an invitation to events on the property. This is very dangerous as many will return and face consequences. Here is the difference in consequences between a commercial casino in Detroit and the Indian casino located anywhere else in the state: 1. Detroit casinos will arrest and press charges upon first trespass and the ban is a Lifetime one. Indian Casinos fine the person first and, like the Detroit Casinos, keep both winnings and any money in the machine at the time of discovery. 2. Unlike Detroit Casinos, Indian Casinos may fine a person between just over $100 and $500 for trespassing several times before actually arresting them. The fine is collected by the Tribal Police which means that it is to their advantage to have Compulsive Gamblers return after being banned. 3. Commercial Casinos are LIFETIME bans while Indian casinos allow for a person to apply to rescind the ‘self-ban’ any time after a year. 4. Commercial Casinos have a process that is ‘off site’ for the banning but Indian Casinos require the person to go onto the property to be banned. It is greatly disturbing that this occurs. While casinos have a predatory nature, Indian casinos have the added predatory behavior of feeding the addict with their policy that allows such harm even after a ban is in place. The ban is much like a restraining order. Would you let an individual who has a restraining order get away with violating it repeatedly? Sadly that is what happens with ‘Self-Bans’. It is also disturbing that Compulsive Gamblers have to go to the Indian Casino to self-ban as this often results in the person relapsing many times before completing the process. It is my belief that there should be an offsite location that allows a Compulsive Gambler to ban themselves from ALL Casinos in the state. While it is only my opinion, it is a reasonable one. You don’t send an addict to his dealer to get help so why would you send a Compulsive Gambler to a Casino to get help?
• United States
@NJChicaa Tanks for the compliment on how well it was written. Most people are not aware that you can self exclude also known as self banning. Oddly if you do this with the commercial casinos it is not revocable and has immediate consequences. It also covers all of the properties owned by the company! Very disturbing though that the Indian Casinos don't have the same rules and consequences.