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Bill Would Let Gambling Addicts Ban Themselves From Casinos

12 March 2001

TRENTON, New Jersey – March 12, 2001 -- Problem gamblers are one step away from having state help to keep them out of Atlantic City casinos.

The state Assembly on Thursday voted 77-0 to approve a bill that would let gamblers put themselves on a list of people banned from casinos -- a list that includes mostly mobsters and card-counters.

Advocates for compulsive gamblers praise the bill, saying it will at least temporarily eliminate the temptation casino gambling presents.

Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco will review the bill before making a public comment on its merits, a spokesman said. While a member of the Senate, DiFrancesco voted for the bill, which passed unanimously.

Originally announced in August, the bill has been amended to provide more incentive for gamblers to stay away from the casinos.

Under it, anyone who registers on the "exclusion list" but goes into a casino anyway would forfeit winnings and be banned from recovering losses incurred at the tables or slot machines. In addition, those gamblers would face a disorderly persons offense.

Casinos that fail to stop excluded gamblers from playing would be penalized under the bill.

If the state learns that a banned person gambled, it could force the casino to forfeit whatever money it took from the person and assess civil penalties against the casino.

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