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Gaming Guru

 

New Program Aids Problem Gamblers

21 March 2001

Recently, the Michigan Gaming Control Board released new materials describing its "disassociated persons" program, which is designed to assist compulsive gamblers. Under the program, problem gamblers who voluntarily notify the Board of their pledge not to visit a Detroit casino are physically barred from visiting any of the three casinos.

The program provides for the Board staff to create a list of "disassociated persons" and disseminate the information to the three Detroit casinos. The list includes the names and aliases, physical descriptions, occupations, current phone numbers, social security numbers and the date of birth of each person who voluntarily comes forward. Additionally, the Gaming Control Board staff will take a photograph to use for identification purposes. This information will be shared with the Gaming Control Board and the affected staff of each Detroit casino, the Department of Attorney General and the State Police. Importantly, the name and information contained in the application will not be released to the general public. By law, it is exempt from public disclosure.

If an individual voluntarily applies to participate in the program and is later observed on the premises of one of the three Detroit casinos, Michigan law provides that the person will be charged with criminal trespassing, and will be immediately removed from the casino. Criminal trespassing is punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year together with a fine of up to $1,000. Additionally, any money the individual wins is subject to confiscation to the Michigan Gaming Control Board for deposit into the State of Michigan Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund.

To learn more about this program, interested parties can obtain brochures from any Detroit casino security person, or from any Gaming Control Board employee who is on the casino premises. Additionally, brochures and/or application forms can be obtained by calling 1-888-223-3044 or by visiting the Michigan Gaming Control Board web site at www.state.mi.us/mgcb.

The "disassociated person" program provides problem gamblers with a strong tool to utilize to keep their compulsive habit in check. I encourage anyone with such a problem to consider using this tool in addition to seeking helpful counseling. As a result of steps taken by the Michigan Legislature, Michigan is blessed with some of the finest compulsive gambling counseling programs in the nation. All three Detroit casinos collectively contribute $2 million per year to Michigan's Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund. The Michigan Department of Community Health (www.mdch.state.mi.us/ads/gambling) determines how this fund is used. It has ongoing discussions with the Executive Director of the Gaming Control Board, the Racing Commissioner and the Commissioner of the State Lottery to determine the most effective ways to assure that the word is spread about its programs. For confidential help, call 1-800-270-7117.

David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com
David Waddell
David Waddell is an attorney for Regulatory Management Counselors, P.C. (RMC), which assists businesses in navigating the legislative, regulatory and licensing systems governing Michigan’s commercial and tribal casino industries. He is the co-author of The State of Michigan Gaming Law Legal Resource Book and one of the founders of The Michigan Gaming Newsletter.

David Waddell Websites:

www.michigangaming.com