Gambler Loses $78k Despite Casino Self-exclusion BanMarch 10, 2014 2:05 pm
Despite signing herself into the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC) self-exclusion program, Joyce Ross was still able to lose $78,000 gambling at Surrey’s Fraser Downs and Langley’s Cascades casinos. However, the North Delta woman’s attempt to sue the casinos and the BCLC has failed in the British Columbia Supreme Court.
At the time of her self-exclusion, the system was not as advanced as today in which licence plate scanners are used to detect banned gamblers’ vehicles in parking lots. Between 2007 and 2010, when Joyce Ross gambled away a small fortune, casinos mostly relied upon employees recognizing banned customers from photos circulated by the gambling venues. Ross was subsequently able to avoid recognition
after admitting she had gained weight and grow her hair since her photo was initially taken.
Nevertheless, Joyce Ross’ lawsuit, which she claims was aimed at exposing inherent faults in the self-exclusion in order to better protect problem gamblers, was rejected by British Columbia Supreme Court Justice John Truscott, who found the casinos had not acted negligently and that their procedures, surveillance and security checks were reasonable at that time.
“It was her primary responsibility to remain out of the casinos. To award her these monies simply because she was in the self-exclusion program when every other gambler not in the program is not entitled to this recovery, would be to encourage every other gambler to join the self-exclusion program in order to have this claim,” ruled Judge Truscott.
The Judge’s decision also upheld the right of the British Columbia Lottery Corp to withhold a self excluded gambler’s winnings, although it did not affect Ross, who never won more than the $10,000 threshold after which identification is required.
Currently, more than 6,000 British Columbia residents have entered into a voluntary self-exclusion program with BCLC, and between 2007 and 2011 enrolled participants were removed from the Canadian province’s gambling venues more than 36,000 times.