Casinos should be reformed to stop predatory tactics
Last update: January 2020
Casinos don't simply offer the games and hope people play them, they do everything they can to encourage that play, even with addicted gamblers. Make that especially with addicted gamblers. (source)
This shouldn't be surprising. History has shown that companies will frequently do shocking, evil things to earn profits unless there are laws to stop them. That was made clear long ago, during the industrial revolution, when factories exploited child workers in slave-like conditions. Many of the kids even got mangled and killed by machinery. The companies stopped doing this only when government regulation forced them to. Likewise, factory farming imposes unfathomable cruelty on animals, and exists in the U.S. because there isn't sufficient regulation against it.
And casinos prey on the public, including problem gamblers, simply because they can, because there are no laws to the contrary.
There should be. And that's what it will take, new laws, since casinos won't implement the changes voluntarily. After all, if the casinos wanted to be doing these things, they already would be. Unfortunately, nobody's pushing for these kinds of laws. There are groups opposing opening new casinos (akin to Prohibition), but nobody working on reforming the existing industry. If I ever have enough time to get a non-profit off the ground maybe I'll start one. Until then, here are some ideas for laws to make casino gambling less exploitative of the players, and especially of problem gamblers.
|Suggested Reforms for Casinos|
|(1) Players have no idea how hard it is to win a slot jackpot.||Casinos must post jackpot odds on every machine, including the number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years of continuous play that it takes to hit the jackpot on average.|
|(2) Players have no idea what the payback (theoretical return) is on slot machines.||Casinos must post the payback on every machine.|
|(3) Casinos cash paychecks and Social Security checks for customers, and most actually offer incentives for doing so (like free chips, or free entries in a drawing), clearly enabling problem gamblers.||Casinos must not cash third-party checks.|
|(4) Casinos extend credit to customers, especially to customers who run out of money. Some casinos do this even from the slot machines.||Casinos must not loan money to gamblers.|
|(5) It's easy for players to lose life-changing sums and the casino will never intervene.||Casinos must require all players to sign up for a Player's Card; to have players set daily, weekly, and monthly loss limits when signing up; require the card be used for all play (slots and table games); and cut players off when they've reached their limit.|