Gaming Commission Wants Change in Lifetime Gambling Ban
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Gaming Commission explained Thursday its plan to allow gamblers who have asked for a lifetime ban from state casinos to rescind that ban after five years. The commission voted Wednesday to begin the process to alter the Disassociated Persons program (DAP).
Ed Grewach, general counsel for the Missouri Gaming Commission, believes the proposal is a step in the right direction. "Research suggests a greater number of people will sign up if it is not for life," said Grewach. Grewach also said the program is voluntary from the start, so if people want to take their name off the list because they think they can do so, the Missouri Commission will take their word. However casinos can still exercise the right to exclude those who have been on the DAP list.
Jill Alexander, senior director of corporate communications for Isle of Capri, said,"We are neutral on this issue. We will wait to see what the new rule will be before we take a side." Currently, the Isle of Capri policy is to permanently bar people on the DAP list.
Mike Duncan is an owner of a shop about five blocks from the casino. He understands how complex the issue is and even wavered from his original opinion of this being a bad idea. Then he said, "Everyone deserves a second chance."
Thomas Malehorn, a leader for a support group of people battling addictions, is against the proposal fearing people will relapse. Malehorn said if they've been addicted to it once, then try to gamble again in a controlled manner, they more often than not will relapse.
Jeremy Duke is a psychologist in Columbia. He has dealt with people with gambling addictions. Duke was more concerned about the treatment options for people who have a gambling addiction rather than if they can get off the DAP in five years. When asked if people can be addicted to something, get treatment, then do it in moderation, he said that depends on the person.