A bill to amend the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act (“Act”) to modernize the “disassociated persons list” for problem gamblers was introduced and is currently sitting before the House Committee on Regulatory Reform.   H.B. 4686 would amend the disassociated person provisions to allow someone on the list to seek to have their name removed after the expiration of a five-year period.  Any bill to amend the Act requires a ¾ supermajority vote.

Current law creates a “lifetime ban” on people visiting a casino after signing up for the list and makes it a crime (criminal trespass) for someone to do so.  The strict nature of the current lifetime ban is perceived by supporters of the bill as actually discouraging problem gamblers from signing up for the service.   Accordingly, the bill seeks to update Michigan law to a version of such a ban that is more consistent with the approach taken in jurisdictions who have more recently studied the topic of how to best approach the issue.

The Michigan Gaming Newsletter reached out to Michael Burke, Executive Director of the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling to see if the organization has a position on the bill.   Mr. Burke responded:

The Michigan Association on Problem Gambling is neutral  on all forms of legal  gambling.  Having said that, however, a majority of the Board feels that the lifetime ban in the Michigan Disassociated Persons Program may act  as a deterrent to gamblers who may be more likely to sign up  if they had other self exclusion options available; such as a two or a five year ban.


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