Skip to comments.U.S. courts say casinos have no 'duty of care' to halt compulsive gamblers from playing
Posted on 05/15/2011 4:41:28 AM PDT by EBH
Williams, who had gambled away his life's savings, sued the casino, claiming, among other things, that the "cease admissions" letter was a fraud and that Aztar broke its obligation to keep him out. But a federal appeals court dismissed the case, noting that Aztar's letter didn't say Williams would be barred from entering and gambling, just that the casino could stop doing business with him if it chose.
The Williams case and others like it show that, in the eyes of American courts, casinos have no legal requirement to stop compulsive gamblers from gambling.
The rulings are vindication for the casino industry, which insists -- as do some gambling counselors -- that the liability for stopping excessive gambling rests with the player.
But the U.S. courts' refusal to assign casinos any protective obligation -- the legal term is "duty of care" -- confounds others who see it as a failure of civic responsibility, compassion, and common sense.
The state regulations require casinos to make a "reasonable" effort to enforce the ban, but absolve the casino -- and the state -- from legal liability if a problem gambler gets back in. The self-exclusion form that a gambler signs contains similar language.
Judges have interpreted the state-granted protection for casinos as evidence that state lawmakers meant for pathological gamblers, not casinos, to bear the responsibility of preventing themselves from gambling. If casinos aren't making a "reasonable" attempt to keep self-excluded gamblers away, the legal reasoning goes, they should be penalized by state regulators, not by lawsuits.
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What ever happened to personal responsibility????? If I ate Leggos should I be able to sue the Leggo company for MY problem?
Casinos disgust me, but the ruling was correct. We are adults, not wards of the state, and our self-destructive decisions are our own individual responsibility. [Note: my decision is to stay out of casinos, and I highly recommend that choice for others.]
Gambling is a tax on the math challenged.
Don't look for the state to put any pressure on casinos to bar people who cannot control themselves. Casinos, and almost any organized gambling operation, are predators and through taxes the state is a parasite that drains off a little sweetness for itself by allowing the gambling to operate.
Same with lotteries. I've seen way more people with hungry kids and foodstamps scounging in the bottom of their pockets for an extra dime to play the lottery, than any well-shod executive. Pure predators, going after the most desperate.
If it was a cartoon, it would be of a person drowning, grabbing a thorny branch held out by a person on the bank. Except when the drowner grabbed it, the person on the bank would let go, laugh, and hold out another thorny branch.
Once the state forced out the bookers who ran these operations it became... “have you played your number today” on every news program.
Here in Massachusetts we tax the hundreds of scratch and lottery ticket buyers to the max, and donate a penny on the hundred to reforming those who ruin theirlives via the state controlled mechanism.
I never gamble any more... Corrupting disease to the mind.
Fun as all get out, especially ace ducy and dice, but unhealthy.
I like Yahtzee for free,
God Bless America (and be cautious counting cards).
That is just it...at what point does the “duty of care” begin and stop.
An alcoholic at a bar drinks, gets drunk, gets in car, and kills ...the bar can be sued?
A compulsive gambler....gambles away the family savings. Does the casino have some level of ‘duty?’
In this particular case, the person was on the list...and they let him continue gambling. Key here is he was on their list. At what point should they have cut him off?
The casino knew he was at risk and as an admitted addict knew he couldn’t control himself. He was using a ‘fun card’ and it wasn’t like the computers and personnel didn’t realize he was there.
In order for an addict to recover and partnership in the recovery needs to exist. In this case, the casino had him on their list of problem gamblers. As such they broke that trust to Williams to assist in his recovery?
Problem gamblers are what keeps casinos in business, its their bread and butter.
They aren’t going to do anything effective to keep these folks out, heck they are open 24/7. Who do you think is playing craps there now, at 8 a.m Sunday morning.
It looks like he lost most of his money before the casino told him they didn’t want his business anymore. Then after a break, he started coming again and probably just “fell through the cracks”, losing much less than he had lost previously (probably the last bit of his savings).
The thing that blows my mind is how he lost: slot machines.
Man, talk about math challenged. The odds are the worst; the results over time are absolutely certain.
He’s not just an addict; he’s a dope.
Gambling is a bet mentality, it is about judgmentalism and viciousness in ad hoc judgment. The winner thinks he is a genius, when he is just lucky for the most part.
Betting, judging and racism have lot’s in common... but guess who sits playing the lottery all the time? Hint: Obama’s collective children who cry racism all the time.
I worked as a casino host for 2 years (back when it was fun). Self exclusions and even permanant evicts can easily stroll in the doors as long as they look over the age of 30.
The only time they were identified as persona non grata was if they had a win big enough to run tax paperwork on at the cage. The name would come back as an exclusion or an evict and the casino was no longer obligated to honor the payout.
Evicts and exclusions also stayed on the mailing list, which is handled by a third party, unless they ask to be removed.
Don’t get me wrong. The casinos can track players cards and roll back DVR film to investigate any activity they want. But there is no standard procedure to scan constantly for the thousands of names that have been flagged at one time or another.
It was a fun job for a while. I gave away apx 30k a month to guests in comps and helped with 100k giveaways. But when the economy started to slide the casino got cheap and mean. I dont miss it.
The old Butter and Egg numbers game ran by organized crime had much better odds than todays legal lotteries.
Oh, dont get me started on Lottery players...I just hate standing in line behind them at the store. I just I dont know rubs me against the grain...they are rude and stand there with those damn scratchers then interupt when they win a few bucks. Oh.....!
I agree...one has to take responsibility for his actions!!
Last summer, whhile driving to California, I spent a night at the Circus Circus Casino in Reno in the hope of getting a good room at a low price and did not gamble. It was a bummer. The most impressive thing about the whole stay was the huge number of low income people the casino imported and catered to, none of whoom should have been squandering his or her earnings there. Oh well, look at it this way: Legalized gambling is an excellent way to trick the parasite class into paying a bit of voluntary taxes to offset the horrible budren they place on the rest of us.
At least the users stay quiet and out of the way.
I will stand in a line of geriatric or crack whore scratch ticket junkies next hour, deciding whitch ticket their future relies on.... All to buy a bottle of V8 juice and pack of gum. It is scary when one must leave early to work to wait while granny decides weather she wants 4 or five of the number 46, then decides she wants a mass million quickpick, or powerball. Then she finds a ten dollar winner in her purse and the whole process starts again.. I sometimes just wish a buss would run me over.
The scratch ticket players annoy me as well. I go into a store for just a cup of coffee and maybe newspaper and now I have wait behind the lottery junkies as they choose which type of scratch ticket they want to play today. It can be worse than being behind a kid at Dunkins trying to choose what kind of donut to get.
Then when they get their tickets, they have to play them right away. If they can get away with it, they scratch off the tickets right in the store but due to the mess that creates, a lot of stores here have big signs saying "No scratching tickets in store" so these lottery bums sit out in their cars scratching the tickets on their steering wheels. Then they are right back in the store to convert what winnings they have back into more tickets until everything is gone. Really sad to see.
Back to casino gambling, as I stated, I stayed away for most of my life. But now that the kids are grown, my wife and I decided to go to Las Vegas about a year ago around this time. I had never gambled in a casino before so I read several books on it and learned the basic strategy of most of the games there. We then took our spending money (that we would use for gambling), divided it by the number of days we would spent there and that was how we did it.
When we got to the hotel, we put packets of gambling money in the hotel safe for each day. At the end of each day, we would take what was left over and put back into our pocket. So on Tuesday, for example, we'd grab the Tuesday packet out of the safe and whatever we brought back that night would no longer be gambled. Next day, we'd move to the Wednesday packet.
I must say it was the best vacation my wife and I ever had together. Now we didn't only gamble there. We did the Hoover's Dam thing and saw a lot of other attractions. In fact, we always had other things to do during the day that kept us out of the casino. So our actually gambling time was usually restricted to the 4PM to midnight time frame, which also helped to keep our losses down.
Besides, it didn't feel right to be in a casino earlier in the day. To me, it is sort of like having a beer at 10 in the morning. There is just something degenerate about it - it screams "I have a problem".
All in all, the casinos at night were a blast. They seemed to be filled with mostly regular people having a good time. My wife won $1700 on a slot machine one night that we basically used the rest of the week to sample some of the more expensive restaurants Vegas had to offer. I also upgraded our rental car to a convertible with some of that money. As for myself, I played mostly table games but because I read extensively on how to play them, I was able to avoid most of the sucker bets and hold my own. Especially with Blackjack. In almost every session, I left the table at or near the break-even point. I had the basic strategy tables memorized in my head and made the proper play pretty much every time.
It was a lot of fun but it was clear that you could lose a lot of money fast if you didn't exercise some discipline and self-control.
Think of Las Vegas as a "Disneyland" for adults. Now we took our kids to Disneyland back in the day and I shudder at the amount of money I put out, only to have the kids fight most of the day and wait up to an hour at a time just to get on a 45-second ride or to buy $4 Cokes.
Since the Vegas trip, we have been to casinos in Atlantic City, Foxwoods in Connecticut and Harrah's in Joliet, Illinois. None of those places came even close to the experience we had in Vegas so for now on, we will only go there if we are in the mood for casino gambling.