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Sun City ruled not liable for self-excluded gambler losing $323k

Sun City gambling news

A gambler who was self-excluded from the Sun City Resort in the North West Province of South Africa cannot file a lawsuit against the casino for letting him to spend US$323,000 on his wife’s credit card. 

The judge in Johannesburg, who ruled last week, said the casino was not liable to refund the man. Suhail Essack and his wife, Naseera Cassim, claimed that Sun International, the casino’s operator, was incompetent in enabling Essack to risk the money.

Essack is a gambling addict who was barred from the casino in 2017 after filing a court action under Section 14 of the Gambling Act of South Africa.

Plaintiff argues for ‘duty of care’

The couple had said that Sun City had a “duty of care to ensure that he does not obtain access to its casino for purposes of engaging in gambling activities”.

The plaintiffs claimed that if a person’s name is shown on the National Gambling Board’s list of self-excluded persons, the casino must contact the police or eject them.

Acting Judge Andy Bester, on the other hand, was not swayed. Despite the fact that the Gambling Act imposed some requirements on the casino, he ruled Essack could not be excused from his personal responsibility.

According to the ruling of Bester, the plaintiff’s excuse to reprimand the casino for not restricting him from the casino is irrelevant, because he had barred himself voluntarily, and should take up responsibility for having to engage in gambling activities and losing that huge sum.

“Sight should not be lost of the fact that the first plaintiff is the author of his own misfortune. Having voluntarily placed himself on the list of people excluded from gambling, he nonetheless went to the Sun City Casino and, of his own volition, lost a substantial amount of money,” he added.

“The plaintiff’s proposition implies that a compulsive gambler may retain his winnings when transgressing the regulations, but hold the licensee of the gambling establishment liable for his losses. Such a lopsided approach does not serve the purpose of the provision, and is not in the public interest.”

According to Bester, Essack is not entitled to civil recourse to recoup his losses under South African gambling legislation.

Casinos in the United States may face fines or possibly license cancellation if they do not follow state restrictions regarding self-exclusion measures. Most states, on the other hand, restrict disciplinary action to offenses involving the poor handling of sensitive data and the purposeful or inadvertent marketing of banned people.

Customers who the casino deems to be excluded, on the other hand, must be ejected from the facilities and may face criminal trespass charges. In most states, joining the self-exclusion program requires the forfeiture of any winnings in this situation.

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