A new law will allow casino gamblers who self-excluded for life from Detroit casinos to apply to have their names taken off the list of banned patrons, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced Wednesday, Oct. 28.
The MGCB says 4,825 people are currently on the official Disassociated Persons List, all of whom self-banned from Detroit casinos for life between 2001 and October 2020. Because tribal casinos are regulated by their own gaming commissions, self-exclusions from those casinos are not subject for removal under the new law. Only self-exclusions from Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit, or MotorCity Casino will be eligible.
Applying For Removal From Self-Exclusion List
In order for an application to be considered, self-excluded gamblers will have to have been on the list for at least five years. They must submit an application to the MGCB, who will then notify them in writing whether the request was approved or denied.
Casinos will also have a say in the matter. Even if the MGCB approves a name to be removed from the self-exclusion list, there’s no guarantee the casinos themselves will allow them to gamble there. The Board says in this event, the person must contact the property in writing to discuss reinstatement.
A Different Way Of Addressing Gambling Addiction
One obvious point the new law raises is what effect it will have on problem gamblers who felt the need to self-exclude in the first place. MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm, who has an extensive law enforcement background, was critical of the state’s previous, more punitive approach that sometimes saw people with gambling problems treated like criminals, calling it “an expensive, harsh way to deal with an addiction.”
He acknowledged the new law could result in some previously banned gamblers to slip back into old habits, but he also said a lifetime ban being the only option could prevent others from signing up at all.
The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling, which maintains a neutral stance on gambling, agrees, Association President Michael Burke writing in the MGCB news release that “the majority of our board felt the Disassociated Persons List lifetime ban in Michigan may have acted as a deterrent to gamblers who may be more likely to sign up if they have other self-exclusion options such as a two- or five-year ban available.”
MGCB said it received its first application for removal on Oct. 19, just three days after the new law was passed.