In Australia last week we learned that a significantly disabled player who needed help staking the game and spinning the reels would receive almost $320,000 in delayed payment, including interest, from a jackpot won in 2019 with the help of a self-excluded player.
In the U.S. some players in Pennsylvania who were previously self-excluded from online gambling are finding access to land casinos in the state cut off as well.
Many safe online sites offer a host of user-activated responsible gambling tools from time-outs and cooling-off periods, to deposit limits and loss limits, to outright self-exclusion.
The decision to gamble or to use the most robust responsible gambling tools should never be taken lightly.
In the first case, a player has to be ready, willing, and able to lose their stake without counting on a financial return – it’s risky business and most often results in a loss.
In the second case, the most drastic self-help tools like self-exclusion can result in unknown consequences including losses even if the player wins.
With over 10,000 online casino brands and perhaps thousands of operators, it’s not always readily apparent if an internet gaming venue has sister sites – it can be even less evident that a gambling exclusion at one site will activate a ban across all of the operator’s properties.
To determine that, a player has to be willing to roll up their sleeves and dig into the casino’s Terms & Conditions or find the site’s Responsible Gambling Policy.
Since there is no central global database of this information, the only other option is to read reviews written by trusted gambling experts.
This becomes even more important considering the fact that most online operators don’t do their due diligence on players until it comes time to pay out.
A self-excluded player could deposit multiple times without review. Still, when it comes time to verify their identity in order to get paid, their personal data could trigger an investigation or even immediate account closure.
A Bet Laid is Still a Bet Paid in Australia
In 2019, at Star Casino in Sydney, a significantly disabled patron won a jackpot of $285,000 on a slot machine. A friend helped him place his bets but the player’s card, decisions, and risk were all his. The casino decided not to pay the jackpot because his friend had self-excluded at the casino in 2016 and wasn’t supposed to be on the property, let alone running a machine.
A judge has found in favor of the player, awarding him the win plus about $35,000 in interest on the money as well as the player’s legal costs.
The winner had no reason to think his friend was banned and the friend didn’t mention it because he had been enjoying unfettered access for at least 6 months.
In his ruling, the judge said, “The whole of the economic stake wagered during the operation of gaming machines by [the friend], whilst [the winner’s]
card was inserted and he watched and gave [the friend]
directions, was [the player’s]
He concluded, “Accordingly, [the casino’s]
failure to pay the winnings … was misconceived and breached the contract of wager between the plaintiff and the defendant
A bet laid is a bet paid in Australia.
Pennsylvania Denies Gamblers Requests to be Removed from Exclusion List
In the U.S., the state of Pennsylvania has been regulating casinos since 2006. The state’s excluded gambler list has over 10,000 names on it. Online gambling was liberalized there in 2017 and launched in 2019. New self-exclusion lists were developed for casinos and eventually, sports betting. Pennsylvania’s iGaming exclusion list has almost 2,000 names, according to a post in PennBets.
Online gameplay can be much faster than land-based gaming so the risks and rewards can be extrapolated as well. On the downside, players can lose money faster and they can lose more of it if they are impulsive and don’t have constraints in place.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) doesn’t automatically ban players from land casinos who have self-excluded online. However, many of the state’s 16 land casinos do not make differentiation and ban players across the board.
So far this year, seven players have petitioned the PGCB requesting to have their online exclusions lifted so they could play at brick-and-mortar casinos where the pace is slower and they have not requested exclusion.
Five were denied earlier this year and two more in August. While these seven players took the process to its ultimate conclusion, many others have simply given up without going through all the steps. Each of the players banned themselves from online gaming for one year, five years, or for life.
Oddly enough, as long as you look old enough to be gambling, casino managers do not request to see ID from players coming onto the casino floor to gamble – just like online casinos don’t check your ID when you deposit. Unfortunately, any significant win could require the players to show ID and their wins would be denied – just like online casinos might do if you self-excluded from a sister site.
After a bad session, many online players close their casino accounts and sign up for another one. In the process, they might say something that gets them on an exclusion list when that was never their intention. To avoid that, players can simply zero out the account balance and then ignore the site in the future.
If you ever experience difficulties or think you might, players should avail themselves of all the responsible gambling tools at their disposal but the ultimate act of self-exclusion should be considered as carefully as the decision to gamble in the first place – based on knowledge, not emotion.
Source: Sydney’s Star casino ordered to pay $285,000 jackpot to disabled man after withholding 2019 win, The Guardian, August 22, 2022