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B.C. Lottery faces lawsuit from second problem gambler

British Columbia LotteryBritish Columbia Lottery: B.C. Lottery faces lawsuit from second problem gambler
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VANCOUVER, B.C. — A Vancouver Island man is suing the British Columbia Lottery Corporation because the company denied him a $42,500 jackpot on the grounds he's a registered problem gambler although the BCLC has never stopped him from losing money.

At the time, Mike Lee was supposed to be barred from casinos entirely under the BCLC self-exclusion program, but his lawsuit contends that the company let him in and allowed him to gamble anyway.

"It's unconscionable to allow someone that has gambling issues to let them play, watch them put their money into a machine, and then disallow them when they win," said Lee's lawyer, Josh Weiszner.

"If they are going to allow him to play and lose, they should allow him to play and win."

BCLC refused to comment on the specifics of the case while the issue is before the court.

But the company did say it has the power to make rules that establish qualifications for who can win prizes.

It's the second lawsuit in less than two weeks that takes BCLC to task over lax enforcement of its self-exclusion program, which is meant to keep problem gamblers away from casinos.

A week ago, Joy Ross of Langley filed suit against BCLC for more than $300,000 — the amount she says she lost because, even though she registered as a problem gambler, BC Lottery Corporation didn't stop her from gambling.

Addiction specialists say addiction to gambling is a real phenomenon. Because of the high amounts of money at stake, it can be as devastating to people's lives as crack or heroin addictions, according to experts.

The lawsuits come on the heels of a CTV News hidden camera investigation revealing that a registered problem gambler could walk into four different Lower Mainland casinos without being stopped.

According to Lee's lawsuit, he put himself on the self-exclusion list because he had a new family and didn't want to lose money gambling.

But court documents say he walked into the Cowichan Chances Casino on January 25, played the slots and was up about $300 when he hit the jackpot: $42,484.67.

"He was elated that he won and he went out to cash out, and at that point he was denied his winnings," said Weiszner.

Lee's lawyer claims the lottery corporation knew he was playing slot machines while excluded because he's won smaller jackpots on several occasions. It was only the large jackpot that got BCLC's attention.

"My client provided his ID. They clearly identified my client. They paid him his winnings and never asked him to leave," he said.

Weiszner says the system that protects problem gamblers has to change.

"If the B.C. Lottery Corporation is going to give the impression to people who need assistance that they're there to help, they should follow through with it," said Weiszner.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

CTV

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19 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by KY Floyd.
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Buford. GA
United States
Member #4
April 19, 2001
853 Posts
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Posted: July 24, 2010, 10:53 am - IP Logged

           Personnaly, I think Mr Lee has a darn good case!Wink

 

            Joy, on the other hand, keep on wishing!No Pity!

 "as long as you win more than you lose...gamblins' not a problem"

    Avatar
    Monkey Butt, USA
    United States
    Member #54569
    August 23, 2007
    1124 Posts
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    Posted: July 24, 2010, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

    They allowed him to cash in the smaller prizes and when he won a substantial amount then the casino want to keep the winnings? Hmmmmmmm. That is wrong on so many levels.

    I would like to see how this work out in the courts. That is not to excuse or absolve Mr. Lee from his lack of self control nor of his being accountable for his actions. Once again we see the results of an unwillingness to tell oneself no and stick to it come hell or high water.

    Is it easy? Heck no!! Never!! But it is possible and a continuous struggle that an addictive personality has to deal with everyday.

      Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
      Clarksville
      United States
      Member #487
      July 15, 2002
      17638 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: July 24, 2010, 12:39 pm - IP Logged

      One of the rules of the program is that he can't win any jackpots.  I don't know why he would play if he put himself on that list.  This is going to be VERY interesting.

      If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

      You never know when you will get another hit.

        Avatar
        nanaimo,bc
        Canada
        Member #93110
        June 21, 2010
        26 Posts
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        Posted: July 24, 2010, 1:31 pm - IP Logged

        i agree, once you sign the exclusion papers it states very clearly that if you sneak in any b.c. casinos and win a jackpot ,you will not be entitled to claim it . mr.lee had signed that paper and knew very well about the consequences,in my opinion he will not win this case and above that he has to pay his lawyer i.e loser

          Avatar
          New Member
          Vancouver
          Canada
          Member #94648
          July 24, 2010
          6 Posts
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          Posted: July 24, 2010, 7:15 pm - IP Logged

          Im on self exclusion also went into the casinos in bc to play. Was caught and had my small winnings taken from me. They usually show you the door if you're reconized. Even if he wins the lawsuit he'd eventually lose it gambling. They casino and staff cant catch everybody ...im sure they do their best. I know others who are on self exclusion also and they are afraid of being fined or embarassed. Last thing u want is to be playing a game which has a jackpot and having your huge winnings taken from u.

            Avatar
            United States
            United States
            Member #60097
            April 5, 2008
            3974 Posts
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            Posted: July 24, 2010, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

            Why would anyone be dumb enough to put their name on a list like that to begin with anyway!  If you can't budget then have a relative or power of attorney handle your finances.................signing papers to give your jackpot money away to a casino boss is just plain stupid with a capital S.

            Keystone

            Big Wins For All!

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
              Member #73904
              April 28, 2009
              14903 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: July 24, 2010, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

              Im on self exclusion also went into the casinos in bc to play. Was caught and had my small winnings taken from me. They usually show you the door if you're reconized. Even if he wins the lawsuit he'd eventually lose it gambling. They casino and staff cant catch everybody ...im sure they do their best. I know others who are on self exclusion also and they are afraid of being fined or embarassed. Last thing u want is to be playing a game which has a jackpot and having your huge winnings taken from u.

              Can you take yourself off the list or is it permanent once you're on it?


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

              "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
                Clarksville
                United States
                Member #487
                July 15, 2002
                17638 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: July 24, 2010, 8:36 pm - IP Logged

                You can take yourself off the list.  But the process takes a little longer..I think you have to send them a written statement or something.  This second guy just put himself on the list because he had a new family and didn't want to lose his money gambling..he should have known how to budget his money..pay all bills, buy all food, save gas money, etc and last if there is any left over, then take a chance..that was dumb on his part.

                If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

                You never know when you will get another hit.

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
                  Member #73904
                  April 28, 2009
                  14903 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: July 24, 2010, 10:06 pm - IP Logged

                  You can take yourself off the list.  But the process takes a little longer..I think you have to send them a written statement or something.  This second guy just put himself on the list because he had a new family and didn't want to lose his money gambling..he should have known how to budget his money..pay all bills, buy all food, save gas money, etc and last if there is any left over, then take a chance..that was dumb on his part.

                  OK, thanks.


                                                               
                                       
                                                           

                   

                   

                   

                   

                                                                                                                     

                  "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                              --Edmund Burke

                   

                   

                    Hermanus104's avatar - 5027340606 1e360c8038_s.jpg
                    Northern Virginia
                    United States
                    Member #83350
                    December 5, 2009
                    1322 Posts
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                    Posted: July 24, 2010, 11:40 pm - IP Logged

                    I think he's going to [expletive deleted] the $42,500 pretty quickly if he gets it. 

                    The British Columbia Lottery really needs to start doing its job regarding keeping problem gamblers out of their casinos. An easy way to fix this would be to not have casinos. Of course, I'm not saying British Columbia should not have casinos; it's just one way of taking care of the problem.

                    Today's winning 3-ball is going to be a number between 000 and 999.

                    In a lot of states, lotteries benefit education. That makes the REAL winners the only people who can't play!

                      jeffrey's avatar - moon
                      Hamilton, OH
                      United States
                      Member #4162
                      March 27, 2004
                      277 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: July 25, 2010, 1:45 am - IP Logged

                      Sounds like a good deal for the casino. The guy is stupid and deserves to not win a thing. I hope he does the right thing and gets to teach the casino and expensive lesson within/outside of the law. Too many people get screwed in this life because of the golden rule. I for one am tired of this happening.Bash

                        Nino224's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
                        Miami, FLA
                        United States
                        Member #62793
                        July 9, 2008
                        678 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: July 25, 2010, 6:14 am - IP Logged

                        Forgive me, but the whole concept of somebody else being responsible for your behavior is beyond absurd.

                        This sets a very dangerous precedent. From here, what's to keep somebody from creating a similar program for alcoholics, drug addicts or over-eaters, etc??

                        Hitting rock-bottom is part of the cure for whatever ails you.

                        Having said that, they broke the agreement. If they went ahead and took his money when he was losing then they should pay now that he won.

                        "...a chance to push everything aside, the circumstances that've controlled our lives, and do it our way now. Good, bad or otherwise. You'll maybe get lost in it, tied up in it a little bit, but if you work your way through that the real you shows up, I think. Maybe what's at your core deep down, maybe that comes out. Maybe that's what it's about." Mike Pace 

                          Avatar
                          New Member
                          Vancouver
                          Canada
                          Member #94648
                          July 24, 2010
                          6 Posts
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                          Posted: July 25, 2010, 2:54 pm - IP Logged

                          In bc the self exclusion at the casino is 1 month,3 months,6 months,1 yr,2 yr and 3 yr. If your self exclusion hasnt ended you can beg,ask etc to be taking off self exclusion but they wont. You are banned for the duration you of the voluntary self exclusion and can be fined,kicked of of the casino,have your winnings taken from u etc. I choose the 3 yr self ban and i wont step anywhere near the casino...i dont wanna be embarassed and have my winnings taken from me.

                            Avatar
                            New Member
                            Vancouver
                            Canada
                            Member #94648
                            July 24, 2010
                            6 Posts
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                            Posted: July 25, 2010, 2:58 pm - IP Logged

                            Littleoldlady, that's not how it works. You pick how long you are banned from the self exclusion and you can write or ask them but they'll ignore you. Doesnt really what your reason for having a self ban ...you gotta serve your time in the self ban.