Reflections on the Voluntary Self-Exclusion of Gamblers and the Law-Suits against Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation
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- Faregh, N. & Leth-Steensen, C. J Gambl Stud (2009) 25: 131. doi:10.1007/s10899-009-9114-3
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Legalized gambling in Canada is governed by Provincial legislation. In Ontario, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is responsible for all aspects of gambling in the Province. There have been a number of recent lawsuits against this Crown agency of the Government of Ontario by gamblers, most of which have been settled or otherwise resolved. A recent class-action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of Ontario gamblers against this agency raises a number of interesting questions regarding the issue of responsibility and liability. The questions surround the issue of self-exclusionary practices of gamblers who deem themselves in need of external intervention in order interesting questions regarding the issue of responsibility and liability. The questions surround the issue to abstain from further gambling. A contract is voluntarily signed by the self-excluding gamblers whereby their further attendance at gaming venues is prevented and could be punishable by law. Where the gaming venues have failed to enforce the terms of this contract, gamblers have continued to gamble at these establishments. The class-action lawsuit stems from the grievances of these self-excluded gamblers who were not turned away. Relevant psychological theories and recent findings pertaining to gambling are reviewed and questions relevant to these grievances are discussed in favor of government responsibility and liability toward gamblers.