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Ontario casinos facing a lawsuit from problem gamblers

Ontario casinos facing a lawsuit from problem gamblers A $3.5-billion class-action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of an estimate 10,000 problem gamblers against the casinos in Ontario, Canada. Peter Dennis and his wife Zubin Noble, issued a statement of claim in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to begin a class action against the Ontario Lottery and Gambling Corporation (OLG). According to the report, the problem gamblers asked the Ontario casinos to be barred from entering the gambling hall, but were still allowed inside. Peter Dennis and others attempted to "self-exclude" themselves from the local casinos, a program designed to allows people to have themselves banned from casinos so that they can deal with their gambling addiction without additional temptation, but the casinos failed to enact the voluntary program.

 When problem gamblers sign up for the self-exclusion program, a photo is taken and their information is stored with the casinos in the province. If a self-excluded gamblers are caught trying to enter any of the casinos, not only they should not be allowed in, but people could face a trespassing charge and get arrested. But according to the participants in the class-action lawsuit - the current system implemented at the Ontario casinos simply do not work. Lawyers say the OLG should be using high-tech systems to catch self-banned gamblers, but Ontario Lottery and Gambling has argued in the past that it is ultimately up to the gamblers themselves to stay away from casinos. Ontario has settled nine individual lawsuits relating to casino self-exclusion, but this is the first time a class-action lawsuit has been filed.

 Published on 06/11/2008

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