Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet the First Guy to Ban Himself From Ohio's Casinos

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Picture_1881.png

The advertisements for gambling addiction hotlines have been almost as ubiquitous as ads for the new Horseshoe Casino in the last two weeks, as have been the news stories about the dangers of a palace of blackjack and slots showing up in town for those that have a wee problem with throwing all their money away on blackjack and slots. Gambling addiction is real and dangerous and outlets for dealing with the problem should be readily available.

What you probably didn't know, lost and distracted in the hoopla of hour-long lines and dazzling 3D light shows and fantabulous buffet, is a provision that allows anybody to ban themselves from all four of Ohio's casinos. Like, actually agreeing it is illegal for them to even walk through the door.

The Akron Beacon Journal found the first guy to ink his name to the deal: 52-year-old Justin Gale from Mayfield Heights.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission launched its “Voluntary Exclusion” program earlier this year, modeling it after other states with similar efforts.

[snip]

Under the Ohio program, people voluntarily apply through the commission to be banned from the casinos for either a year, five years or life. People who choose the one- or five-year bans can apply to have their names scrubbed from the list after that term is up.

Those who choose the lifetime ban, though, can never be removed.

[snip]

Gale chose the lifetime ban.

He has proudly framed his letter from the commission notifying him that he’s barred from the casinos. He keeps it next to a photo of his deceased father, who had urged him to stop gambling.

Once you agree to the ban, if you are caught in any of the four casinos, you'll be charged with trespassing and forced to forfeit all winnings.

Gale quit gambling last year. He placed his first bet at the horse track when he was 15. Click on over for the full ABJ story where Gale goes in-depth into what gambling has wrought on his life in the last three decades.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar