News & Insights

The Casino Need Not Save You From Yourself

01 Mar 2003

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, deciding an issue which apparently has never been addressed before, rejected a claim that a riverboat casino can be sued in tort when they fail to evict a compulsive gambler who had earlier requested that he be thrown out if he ever entered the premises. Mark Merrill v. Trump Indiana, Inc.,No. 02-2523, ___ F.3d ___, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 3507 (7th Cir. Feb. 11, 2003). Applying Indiana law, the court analogized the situation to a patron who drives while intoxicated, causing his own injuries. Since he cannot recover from the tavern that served him the alcohol, neither can the gambler recover from the casino. This is so even though the casino keeps, pursuant to Indiana statutory and administration regulation, an "eviction list" of people who request that they be denied access. "At most, the rules impose upon Trump a duty to the state through the gaming commission, not to a self-requesting evictee."

Practice tip: Try Gambler's Anonymous.

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