COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio offers people who know they have a gambling problem a chance to ban themselves from the state's four casinos. The voluntary list is up to 912 people and grows at a rate of about 40 people a month.

"That's pretty healthy numbers for a program that's only been in existence for just two years now," said Laura Clemens, problem gambling program coordinator with the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Despite those on the list being put there voluntarily, some violate their own contract with the state. Violators are subject to trespassing charges and having any winnings seized.

"We've confiscated probably $15,000 in winnings," Clemens said.

The money collected is all returned to the problem-gambling program.

"This is an addiction and for some people it's very difficult, even knowing what the consequences are," she said.

The bans can last for a year, five years, or a lifetime, depending on which the person choses to sign up for. There's no way out once the contract begins. For many, the year ban is coming to an end, but Clemens says most are opting to extend their voluntary ban for another year. 


(Photo courtesy Shutterstock)