Luring in gambling addicts

March 26, 2012 1:32 pm

Casinos market to gambling addicts for the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks: Because that’s where the money is. A casino outside of Chicago was fined for trying to lure self-proclaimed gambling addicts in to gamble.

The Rivers Casino sent cash advances and rewards cards to gambling addicts who had voluntarily put their names on a list that bans them from casinos. This is like offering free cocaine to recovering drug addicts. The casino said it was an honest mistake. Sure, and their names were probably just randomly picked out of the telephone book.

The fact is this: studies show a large percentage of casino revenue comes from problem gamblers. (See here, here, here and here for just some of the studies.) Without problem gamblers, casinos, especially the local convenience casinos, do not have a viable business model. So casinos do their best to keep problem gamblers coming back until they are broke. Hence the term, “Play to Extinction.” (Check out this video from Stop Predatory Gambling.)