When exclusion limits get called in to question

When Exclusion Limits Get Called In To Question

Self-exclusion provides people with the opportunity to take a break from gambling. They are voluntary programmes that are offered by legal jurisdictions who govern and regulate the casino and gambling industry to provide an option for players who struggle with problem gambling in an effort to avoid further gambling.

There’s no question that self-exclusion programmes have an important role to play within a responsible gambling initiative but what happens when exclusion limits get called into question?

Canadian Man Forgets Signing 17 Year Old Exclusion Request

One Canadian player has done exactly that. A recent news article reports on how one Canadian slot player vows to fight for his prize winnings despite signing a self-exclusion request. John Marando, an 82 year old slot player was denied a jackpot worth CAD$ 10,000 as a result of him voluntarily signing a self-exclusion request 17 years ago. According to the report, he is determined to go after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) who declined to pay out his jackpot winnings.

John Marando explained that he had been frequenting the Mohawk Racetrack facility where he had been playing the OLG slots. The venue is operated by Woodbine Entertainment Group which has a long term lease with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. He had been going there during the early months of 2017 and had won prizes of CAD$ 1,000 from the same machine a few times before and had not encountered any problems collecting his winnings.

When he found himself there on February 17, luck struck him again to the tune of a CAD$ 400 prize. On his way out of the gaming venue, Marando decided to wager CAD$ 20 of his prize winnings on the same machine – a last minute decision that saw him win a jackpot valued at approximately CAD$ 10,000. However, when he went to cashier’s window to collect his winnings for the second time that day, he was denied his payout on the grounds that he signed a voluntary self-exclusion request 17 years before.

How Long Is Too Long?

Self-exclusion requests allow regulatory agencies such as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to remove the individual in question from any gambling premises if they are recognised in an effort to minimise problem gambling. Marando told the National Post, where the incident was first reported, “I can’t remember 17 years ago”. He claims to have suffered a brain injury which he was told could affect his memory and that he couldn’t remember singing a self-exclusion request.  “I’m 17 years older and I’ve had a brain operation about eight years ago,” he added.

His argument is based on the fact that he encountered no problems when cashing out his CAD$ 400 winnings a mere 5 minutes before he hit the big jackpot. John Marando has since contacted a lawyer about the matter and vows to take it further. This incident, however, does bring to light whether any limitations should be placed on the duration of self-exclusion requests.