The Michigan Gaming Control Board began allowing people to remove their names from the Disassociated Persons List on Oct. 28. Just nine days later, many are taking advantage of the opportunity.
In an email, Mary Kay Bean, the MGCB’s communications specialist, said it has received 95 applications from people who wish to be removed from the Disassociated Persons List.
It’s the first time in almost 20 years that someone who voluntarily excluded themselves from the three Detroit land-based casinos for life may be able to apply for removal from the list after having been on it for at least five years. One of the applicants did not meet the five-year requirement in order to be taken off.
“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,” said Richard S. Kalm, executive director, MGCB in a news release. “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. I’ve received many requests over the years from people on the Disassociated Persons List who wanted to remove their names, but state law did not offer the option until the new act was signed Oct.16.”
The Portage-based Michigan Association on Problem Gambling sees the new law as a welcoming change for those who may seek help to address a gambling addiction. Those who previously thought a lifetime ban would be too steep may now be more willing to look for assistance.
“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,” said Michael Burke, president of the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling.
Those who meet the five-year requirement may now apply to remove themselves from the list by using a new form on the MGCB website. The MGCH has 30 business days to process the request after receipt of the form. Applicants will then receive written notification on whether their request was approved or denied based on qualifications through email or U.S. mail.
The first removal application came through on Oct. 19.
As of Oct. 1, the Disassociated Persons List included 4,825 people who voluntarily banned themselves from the Detroit casinos since 2001. Michigan does not offer self-exclusion from casinos operated at the 12 federally recognized tribes. Those are regulated by their own gaming commissions and under federal law.
If someone is granted removal from the list, it does not automatically grant them gaming privileges. Casinos may choose to keep the banned status after the MGCB removes a person’s name from the list. Under this circumstance, a person must contact the casino property directly by mail or telephone to discuss possible reinstatement.