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Illinois Fines Rivers Casino For Targeting Problem Gamblers

The state of Illinois has a self-exclusion program in place where gamblers can sign up and ban themselves from casinos in the state. The program also prohibits casinos from sending any type of promotional material that may lure the gamblers back into the gaming facilities.

Rivers Casino, the newest casino in Illinois, was sent a message this past week that any violations of these rules will not be tolerated. The casino was fined $25,000 by Illinois gaming regulators for sending promotion material to gamblers who had signed up for the Illinois Don't' Let Me Gamble List.

The casino was not intending on trying to get one over on the state, and they reported the violation on their own to regulators. Once they reported their violation, regulators came down with a swift penalty, acknowledging that any future violations would result in similar, or larger, fines.

Rivers Casino has burst on to the scene in Illinois, where their Des Plaines casino is packing thousands of customers in each night. The casino opened last summer to the delight of gamblers who had previously been traveling to enjoy their gaming habits. The casino has provided relief to many people since the economic recession.

"There really wasn't much to do around here," said Brittany Burke. "The entertainment we had has been here for years, and I was glad something new came along. My friends and I have come here dozens of times over the past few months. We usually come on an average of three times a week, and we always have a good time."

Burke, however, is not a self-excluded gambler. The self-exclusion program gives gamblers who cannot control their addition a chance to forcefully keep themselves out of casinos. The program has worked in nearly every state that operates casinos, and Illinois has had little problems with their self-exclusion program up until now.

Many times when violations occur, it is because casinos have mailing lists that they send out promotional material to their Club Members. When a person chooses to go on the self-exclusion list, their names are supposed to be taken off the mailing lists, but there are circumstances where the gambler's name slips through the cracks. When these violations are found, it is common for the casino to report them to regulators in order to keep their penalties to a minimum.

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