Illinois Casino Fined For Luring Problem Gamblers

The Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, Chicago has been fined $25,000 for violating  Illinois’s self-exclusion program and enticing gambling addicts to play at its casino.
A self-exclusion program allows people with gambling problems to ban themselves from a casino, and have their details removed from the casino’s mailing lists and marketing database. They can then be arrested for trespassing if they attempt to steps foot into the casino property.
Nevertheless, last summer the Rivers Casino sent four self-excluded gamblers mailing promotions, gave cash advances to two others, while seven individuals received players’ rewards cards.
Despite being fined $25,000, the Rivers Casino could have been penalised considerably more as, for instance, the Hollywood Casino Aurora had to pay $800,000 in 2004 for sending promotional materials to 146 self-restricted gamblers.
However, the fact the Rivers Casino reported the violation itself was taken into account when setting the size of the fine. The Casino has since put the oversight down to employee training and the hectic time of year, with the casino’s general manager Bill Keena, explaining:
“We take our responsibility to be a good corporate citizen very seriously and to ensure the safety of our patrons. In this instance we realized that we had made a mistake and we reported it immediately to the IGB.”
From July 18th to March 1st, 2011, Rivers Casino caught 149 individuals trying to contravene their self-exclusion order, with 51 being stopped after their ID’s were scanned at the entrance. Additionally, 36 were discovered after they tried to use their credit cards, 23 were recognized by staff, 8 while claiming jackpots and 3 while cashing cheques.
In July, 2011, The Rivers casino opened for business with 1,000 slots and 48 table games. A few months later in October, spokesman for the Illinois Gaming Board Gene O’Shea commented:
“The numbers for enrollment in the program fluctuates, but I have noticed it has increased recently. Things have started to pick up and I think that may be because of the new casino [Des Plaines Rivers Casino] opening up.”

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