Gamblers' $3.5B suit against OLG rejected

OTTAWA (CBC) - Problem gamblers have lost their bid to a launch a $3.5 billion class action lawsuit against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Sun Mar 21, 12:03 PM

Between December 1999 and February 2005, more than 10,000 people voluntarily signed "self-exclusion" forms, asking the government-owned lottery corporation to bar them from its gaming sites.

Gamblers who sign the forms have their photo taken and kept on file so casino staff can identify them. People may be charged with trespassing if they are caught re-entering a casino during the time they have chosen to be excluded.

The lawsuit alleges that these individuals suffered losses after the OLG failed to prevent them from entering gaming sites and gambling.

However, the OLG places the responsibility on the individual to stay away from gaming sites. Paul Pellizzari, a spokesperson for the OLG, has said the self-exclusion policy isn't a "policing" program.

In a decision released this week, Ontario Superior Court Justice Maurice Cullity ruled against the class-action proceeding.

Cullity didn't dismiss the merits of their claims against OLG, but said the gambler's claims were based on their own unique personal circumstances so they'd have to file individual lawsuits.