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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 28, 2017 03:42 PM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Casino Self Exclusion Treatment Legislation
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation to better assist individuals who violate the casino self-exclusion list with obtaining treatment for gambling addiction.

The self-exclusion list was created by the Gaming Act to allow individuals to voluntarily exclude themselves from entering casinos within the Commonwealth. This list has been an invaluable tool for individuals who recognize that they may have a gambling addiction, and over 7,000 requests have been made to the Gaming Control Board for individuals to be placed on this list. At this time, if a self-excluded individual enters a casino, the individual can be charged with criminal trespass.

Rather than simply imposing criminal penalties on these individuals, I believe that these individuals need to be provided the opportunity to seek problem gambling treatment. Under my legislation, courts will be provided with an additional sentencing provision when an individual is convicted of trespass resulting from a violation of the self-exclusion list. Specifically, courts will be provided the discretion to direct the individual to be evaluated in a manner deemed appropriate by the court to determine if the individual has a gambling disorder and whether there is a need for counseling or treatment as part of the sentence or pre-adjudication disposition.

As you may recall, similar legislation (HB 322) passed the House unanimously last session, and I believe this legislation needs to continue through the legislative process in this current session so these individuals can get the treatment they need.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB759