An Aurora casino has been fined $800,000 by the Illinois Gaming Board for marketing its facility to people with self-identified chronic gambling problems, officials said.
Penn National Gaming Inc., which owns Hollywood Casino, sent marketing materials to at least 146 people on a database containing those who have asked to be excluded from getting such solicitations, officials said. Three Penn employees also were suspended for up to two weeks in conjunction with the mailings.
In January, a marketer affiliated with Penn apparently sent materials to 16,000 people, with some reaching those on the self-exclusion list. This was the second fine related to self-exclusion lists for Hollywood, a Gaming Board spokesman said. The company was fined $600,000 in July 2006.
These self-exclusion lists exist to protect the most vulnerable and their families. It’s deplorable that a casino company would repeatedly target them, and by effect, their families. This is more proof that casinos don’t care who they hurt nor do they really care to help those they hurt. This level of hypocrisy, claiming to support programs for those with addiction then using that list as a marketing tool, is unimaginable and I hope $1.4 million in fines will actually send an appropriate message but some how I doubt it will.