Scores of People are banning Themselves from Ohio Casinos
When it comes to the excitement of casino games, some people just can’t contain themselves. This is especially proving to be true in Ohio, where over 1,000 gamblers have banned themselves from the state’s casinos.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission’s Voluntary Exclusion Program, which started two years ago, includes 980 names. The Ohio Lottery, which runs the state’s racinos, has a list with another 200 people who’ve banned themselves from playing.
Anybody who wishes to issue a self-ban from Ohio casinos can bar themselves for anywhere between one year and life. Compulsive gamblers who take such action need to think long and hard about it, though, because anyone on the voluntary ban list can be prosecuted and have their winnings taken.
So far, casinos have looked into 83 potential violators and charged 78 of these people with trespassing. Those caught in violation of the Ohio Casino Control Voluntary Exclusion Program have collectively forfeited over $28,000 in winnings. All of this money goes directly into the Problem Gambling Resource Fund.
As for if anybody’s managed to skirt the program after banning themselves, the commission’s executive director, Mark Schuler, didn’t rule out the possibility. However, he also explained how difficult it would be to do this. “Our gaming agents at each facility are familiar with those who have enrolled and could observe them on the floor,” Schuler said. “The same thing is true for the security and surveillance personnel. They have pictures of the individuals and it’s their job to be familiar with them.”
It will be difficult to measure the effectiveness of Ohio’s Voluntary Gambling Exclusion program because the Buckeye State has only had casino gaming since 2012. But the program definitely stands a good chance of success when looking at neighboring states like Pennsylvania (6,900 people on list), Indiana (5,000) and Michigan (3,400). The latter only allows gamblers to issue lifetime voluntary bans.