Woman claims British Columbia’s self-exclusion program for gambling addicts is unreliable.
The voluntary exclusion program approved by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), which is supposed to stop gambling addicts from spending all of their earnings on casino games, doesn’t seem to be working. Joy Ross has tested it herself and was very disappointed.
Players who join the program are photographed and casinos in Canada are supposed to be using a facial recognition system which spots them whenever they enter the gambling venue. This system has not worked for Joy Ross, whose story was first reported in 2010, when she ended up spending $330,000 despite being on the “do not admit” list.
The woman sued both the casinos that let her play and the BCLC, but the British Columbia Supreme Court has recently dismissed her case.
More harm than good
Under Canadian gambling laws, local governments manage casinos, lotteries, bingos and online gambling sites, but they also help fund programs to prevent gambling addiction.
Ross is disappointed in the outcome of the case and believes that the self-exclusion program she voluntarily joined did not help her at all. “I think it actually hurt me, and the reason I say that is perhaps I would have sought help earlier if I hadn’t viewed that as a safety net that was going to protect me,” the woman confessed.
Her case was dismissed on grounds that there is no legal contract involved when joining the program. The court added that casino employees can’t be expected to successfully spot every gambler who has self-excluded.
The woman is not satisfied with this argument and is now considering an appeal.