MGCM Unveils Redefinition Of ‘Lifetime Ban’

After announcing that people can now seek to delete their names from the self-exclusion list after at least five years, the Michigan Gaming Control Board has unveiled a redefinition of the word’ lifetime ban.’

Persons who voluntarily disqualified themselves from the three Detroit casinos for life will apply for exclusion for the first time in nearly two decades, with the GCB citing a suggestion that the current ban may discourage individuals from signing up.

A new statute, Public Act 225 of 2020, requires individuals to order the agency to delete their names through a form on its website on the Disassociated Persons List maintained by the MGCB.

It is added that removal from the list does not guarantee that gaming privileges will be issued by the three Detroit casinos, with the possibility that venues will retain their evicted status.

Richard Kalm, executive director of the MGCB said: “Previously, the state used criminal law to combat a gambling problem for a lifetime, which is an expensive, harsh way to deal with an addiction.

“A lifetime ban actually may deter some people from signing up. For others, their life circumstances may have changed.

“Of course, people with gambling problems may request removal and resume behaviours they sought to prevent by going on the list. I’ve received many requests over the years from people on the Disassociated Persons List who wanted to remove their names, but state law did not offer the option until the new act was signed October 16.”

In addition, Michael Burke, president of the Portage-based Michigan Problem Gambling Association, acknowledges that the change in law can assist individuals to seek self-exclusion to treat gambling addiction.

“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,” Burke added.

As of October 1, there were 4,825 individuals on the Disassociated Persons List who have been barred from Detroit casinos since 2001. Self-exclusion from casinos run by the 12 federally recognised tribes in the area is not provided by the State of Michigan.