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A Gambler's Rehab Gone Wrong

30 July 2003

CANADA -- As reported by the Globe and Mail: ``Winning $6,000 playing the slots at an Ontario casino was the worst thing that ever happened to Lisa Dickert.

```It reeled me hook, line and sinker,’ the 37-year-old mother of two said this week. ‘Until that point, I was a recreational gambler. Then I became addicted and it ruined my life.’

``…In just over a year, her marriage and family were in ruins. She had become alienated from all her friends and was fired from her job at a factory where she had worked for 15 years.

``Gathering her courage and the little dignity she had left, Mrs. Dickert went to the Brantford casino and signed up for a self-exclusion program that would bar her from all of the province's gambling establishments for six months. If found in any casinos or at any racetracks playing slots, security guards were to escort her out. If she continued to return, she would be charged with trespassing.

``Within six weeks, she was back. And back again, and again. No one stopped her from walking into the casinos; no one questioned her presence.

``On Aug. 5, 2002, after a 52-hour gambling binge at the Point Edward casino in which she neither slept nor ate properly, she drove home. She was involved in an accident and her car was destroyed.

``She has not gambled since, and now she and her husband Steven have filed a $1-million lawsuit against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. for not enforcing the self-exclusion order…”

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