Luckless gambler sues British Columbia Lottery Commission

Luckless gambler sues British Columbia Lottery Commission Luckless gambler sues British Columbia Lottery Commission

VICTORIA, B.C. – A man from British Columbia who asked for self exclusion from his local casino because of his compulsive gambling habits claims he was allowed to return freely until the day he won a CA$42,000 slots jackpot.

Michael Lee, 32, claims that the B.C. Lottery Corp. (BCLC) enforced its self exclusion law only once he had won the prize. What he says happened is that the casino refused to pay him out and forced him to exit the premises. This was the first time in three years of Mr. Lee’s “self exclusion” that it was actually enforced.

In another similar story a woman from Vancouver claims that she was allowed to gamble away nearly CA$330,000 even when she banned herself through the same self exclusion program, which again was never enforced. This case indicated that Mr. Lee was allowed to gamble as long as he was losing and that BCLC didn’t care about how much he was losing and that he was addicted to gambling.

The B.C. Lottery Corp. has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently after its new online gambling website proved to be faulty and players could see other people’s personal account details.

Critics of the self exclusion program claim that they only give compulsive casino goers false hope when they are begging for help to solve their problem.

According to the lawyer for Mr. Lee he signed up for the self exclusion program in 2007 because he has a young family and wanted to keep his gambling under control. The lawyer told the Globe and Mail that, “The only time the casino offered their so-called assistance to him was when he won the jackpot, when he was denied the prize and asked to leave.”

The main argument in this case is that the B.C Lottery Corp. failed to keep their end of the agreement and prevent Mr. Lee from gambling, so he should be awarded the full amount that he won last January.

B.C. Lottery Corporation is yet to file any statements in their defence.

source: The Globe and Mail



Published: July 27, 2010

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