4 04 2014
Canadian Casino Sued by a Customer for $330,000
Customers having complaints after a gambling experience is not uncommon. A few months ago, a Canadian citizen sued two separate casinos when she gambled away most of her life savings. The woman in question, Joy Ross, has a history of gambling addiction. Her gambling spree that cost her $330,000 was not the first time she bet more than she should have.
The court case filed was unsuccessful. The arguments were predicated on the fact that Ms. Ross had joined the “voluntary exclusion” program that aims to help Canadian gamblers. This program places gambling addicts on a “not permitted to play” list. Most casinos in the country have software that allows them to identify when someone on that list enters their premises.
More Harm Than Good –
In her testimony to the court, Joy Ross said that she had suffered because of her decision to enter into that program. She felt that being on that list gave her a false sense of security. She thought that she could go into an establishment and gamble a little bit before someone would come and stop her. However, there was no one protecting her on that fateful day, and she ended up losing most of the money in her bank account.
Unconvincing Case –
Unfortunately for Ms. Ross, the Canadian courts viewed this situation as unfortunate but not illegal. There is no binding contract when a person signs up for the voluntary exclusion list. It is meant as an extra layer of protection, but gambling addicts are strongly discouraged from entering casinos.
Casinos have to deal with thousands of people entering their establishments on a daily basis. It is impossible for their employees to check every person entering through facial recognition software. Many people on the list are spotted, but it is not an exact science. The judge ruled that if he found in favor of Ms. Ross, he would be setting a very dangerous precedent. Anyone who ever put themselves on that list but went on to gamble away money could sue casinos, leading to millions of dollars in compensation awards.
Possible Appeal –
Ms. Ross said that she would try to appeal the verdict, but it is unlikely that she would find a judge to rule in her favor. She was not under the influence of alcohol at the time, which means that her judgment was not impaired. While gambling addiction may be an illness, there is no basis for giving back lost money to these individuals.
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