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Gambling addict is suing B.C. Lottery Corporation

Jul 17, 2010, 9:19 am

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British Columbia Lottery

A North Delta woman launched a lawsuit against the B.C. Lottery Corporation this week alleging the company's self-exclusion program failed to help her curb her gambling addiction.

North Delta is a distinct community located in British Columbia, Canada, about 20 miles from Vancouver.

Joyce May Ross filed a civil suit in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday alleging negligence and breach of contract by BCLC and two Lower Mainland casinos for failing to stop her from entering the two facilities and gambling away more than $300,000.

Ross has made headlines this week as the first person to ever sue the lottery corporation for not stopping her from gambling.

The 54-year-old self-employed businessperson started gambling around 1999 and by 2005 she was doing so on a daily basis, sometimes spending more than $1,000 a day.

According to court documents filed this week, in June 2007, after suffering significant losses at both Fraser Downs and Cascades casinos, Ross, feeling like she had lost any control over her gambling, went back to Fraser Downs to sign up for the BCLC Voluntary Self-Exclusion program.

The program allows people who feel they have a problem with gambling to sign up to exclude themselves from B.C. casinos.

Participants in the program are photographed and sign a contract willingly barring themselves from gaming facilities for a period of six months to three years.

Ross signed up thinking if she entered a casino in the future she would be escorted out by security. However, after a few weeks of staying away from gambling, she successfully entered and gambled at a Victoria casino. A few weeks after that, she has back gambling at Fraser Downs and Cascades.

She claims that during the three years she was in the program, she lost about $331,000.

Ross is seeking damages and restitution of the money she lost after joining the program.

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