The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a rule Thursday that would fine casinos that failed to remove problem gamblers from their mailing lists.
Problem gamblers can ban themselves from casinos and they are then put on a list that’s circulated to all the casinos in the state.
Commissioner Gerald Bair says they don’t want people on the lists getting promotional materials that might entice them back. Bair says they want to be sure that the lists are respected, and when banned gamblers come in and win prizes, that the prizes go to the gamblers treatment fund.
Bair says casinos that allow marketing to problem gamblers should be fined.
Bair served on a committee that reviewed the issue and made the recommendation to the full commission. He says other states have similar provisions that try to protect problem gamblers and Bair says they looked at what the other states are doing and tried to pattern the Iowa rule after them.
The rule tries to give the casinos time to adjust to updates in the banned list. Bair says the key thing is allowing 60 days for violations to go into effect after someone is put on the banned list. Bair says he’d like to tighten that time period up so people get on the list and the lists get out and are enforced. He says the casinos have "done a lot better job, particularly in the last couple of years of making this work."
Bair says casinos could face up to $30,000 in fines depending on the number of violations.