Diamond Jo Dubuque And Wild Rose Casino In Iowa Hit With Fine

Written By Adam Hensley on February 8, 2023
2 Iowa casinos fined for violating self-exclusion regulations

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission fined a pair of casinos in Iowa in January for self-exclusion regulation.

Diamond Jo Dubuque Casino and Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg both uploaded their self-ban lists past the deadline. In Iowa, the grace period for casinos to file their list of self-exclusion is seven days.

“(Diamond Jo) uploaded that information to the state system – but they did so after eight days,” IRGC administrator Brian Ohorilko told Radio Iowa. “So, this one came in one day late.”

Ohorilko explained the similarities with the Wild Rose incident as well. “(In) this particular situation, Wild Rose had uploaded the information 11 days after receiving it, so it was four days after the grace period,” he told Radio Iowa.

What are self-exclusion lists?

Self-exclusion lists are in place for problem gamblers looking to make a change. In short, once your name is on the self-exclusion list, you’re banned from playing games at any Iowa casino or legal gambling institution. Specifically in Iowa, the self-exclusion list includes sports wagering and fantasy sports operators.

The goal is to remove gambling temptations from those addicted. In turn, licensed gambling organizations in Iowa can no longer send marketing information to ban-list members.

How are self-exclusion lists enforced?

To enter a casino, one must have their driver’s license scanned. If your name is on the self-exclusion list and you scan your ID, it will notify the casino.

From there, the staff will ask you to leave. Staff can also escort individuals off the property if they somehow bypass security. In this case, the casino confiscates all winnings from the person during their time at the property.

Should similar issues persist, criminal trespassing charges can be issued.

Both Iowa casinos were fined $5,000 for late uploads

When it comes to late uploads of self-exclusion lists, casinos can face hefty fines. Ohorilko told Radio Iowa that those fines can reach the $20,000 mark.

Ultimately, the IRGC issued $5,000 fines to each location – the minimum for this kind of violation. Ohorilko explained that the casinos’ history of maintaining these self-exclusion lists played a factor in determining the punishment.

“Diamond Jo has had a really good track record of compliance and no prior incidents,” Ohorilko told Radio Iowa. He added that with Wild Rose, this was their only similar issue within the past year.

“Wild Rose has a very good track record in terms of compliance with these self-exclusion rules and regulations and it was the first incident they’ve had in the last 365 days.”

Iowa offers two options for self-exclusion durations

The duration of self-exclusion varies by state. For instance, in Nebraska, options include one year, three years, five years, or a lifetime. But in Iowa, there are two choices: five years or a lifetime.

Should someone be on the five-year option, the state will remove their name from the list automatically after those five years.

To be a part of the lifetime self-exclusion list, you must be in the program for at least six months.

It’s also worth noting that in Iowa, you can only increase your ban time, not decrease it. For instance, if you’re in the midst of a five-year program, you cannot apply to decrease your time. The only other change would be to go to a lifetime ban.

How can I sign up for the self-exclusion list in Iowa?

In Hawkeye State, residents can sign up in four ways:

  1. By mail
  2. In person at the IRGC Des Moines office
  3. In person at a state gambling treatment program agency
  4. At any gambling facility licensed in Iowa

To learn more, visit the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s website under the self-exclusion tab.

Photo by PlayIA
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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