In Illinois, where gambling is a relatively widespread and accepted activity, talks have begun to begin carding every person who steps foot in an Illinois casino. In an effort to crack down on problem gamblers, the proposal would require all casino patrons to swipe their driver’s licenses through a machine that would gather pertinent and important personal information that could, in turn, be used to identify if they are a registered problem gambler or not.
The Illinois Gaming Board is currently developing a plan that would enable the identification logging to take place. As of yet, there already is technology that makes it possible to swipe a driver’s license and register information that could illicit a red flag of sorts. In this case, a red flag would be when a gambler shows up on the self-ban casino gambling list with the state of Illinois. Another incentive for the program is that it would help catch underage gamblers using fraudulent licenses.
To give you an idea of how big gambling is in Illinois, over 15 million people visit any one of the nine riverboat casinos each year. Of these gamblers, there are are at least 3,170 registered problem gamblers who have actually registered themselves with the state of Illinois since late 2002. However, what often occurs is that these very same registrants are the one’s who compulsively venture back into the casino while remaining under the radar. This is precisely what the the Illinois Gaming Board wants to eradicate – the high number of self-proclaimed problem gamblers.
Although the intentions of the Gaming Board are entirely good-willed, casino operators in Illinois have caught wind of the proposal, and have expressed concern that it would cause longer lines for patrons wanting, especially on weekends when gambling is often the activity of choice for many locals.