Self-banned for life from Detroit casinos? Not anymore

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Anyone who has voluntarily banned themselves from the three Detroit casinos for life can now request to be removed from the list after five years.

Under a new law, Public Act 225 of 2020, a person can ask the Michigan Gaming Control Board to remove their name from Disassociated Persons List.

Under a new law, a person can ask the Michigan Gaming Control Board to remove their name from Disassociated Persons List.

It’s a move some say could remove a deterrent from signing up in the first place.

“Previously, the state used criminal law to combat a gambling problem for a lifetime, which is an expensive, harsh way to deal with an addiction,” Richard S. Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board said in a statement. “A lifetime ban actually may deter some people from signing up. For others, their life circumstances may have changed. Of course, people with gambling problems may request removal and resume behaviors they sought to prevent by going on the list.”

Kalm said that he had received many removal requests over the years, but state law did not allow it until the new act was signed Oct. 16.

According to the gaming board, as of Oct. 1, there were 4,825 people who had banned themselves from the Detroit casinos since 2001. The state does not have a self-exclusion ban for casinos operated by the 12 federally recognized tribes.

Michael Burke, president of the Portage-based Michigan Association on Problem Gambling, said the law may help people address a gambling addiction.

“The majority of our board felt the Disassociated Persons List lifetime ban in Michigan may have acted as a deterrent to gamblers who may be more likely to sign up if they have other self-exclusion options such as a two- or five-year ban available,” he said.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board said it received its first request Oct. 19.

Those who meet the requirement can apply using a removal form on the Michigan Gaming Control Board website.

The board has 30 days to respond after receiving a completed form. Removal from the list does not guarantee that any of the three Detroit casinos will grant a person gaming privileges, the board said. If that happens an individual would have to contact the casino directly.

Twitter: @CWilliams_DN