Problem gamblers sue casinos for $3.5 bln

Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:44pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Thousands of problem gamblers in have launched a $3.5 billion class action lawsuit in Ontario, saying they were allowed into provincially run casinos despite signing up for a program that should have denied them entry.

According to the CBC's website, the suit was filed earlier this week in Toronto, claiming the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. did not fully enforce a "self exclusion" program that allows problem gamblers to ban themselves from casinos.

Those who sign up for the program are photographed and their personal information is stored in binders at all of the province's casinos.

If program members are caught trying to enter a casino they can be arrested for trespassing.

According to the CBC, gamblers who had signed up for the program said it was not working, including one who returned frequently for years after signing up for the program.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson)