File under: Not clear on the concept
Posted by sanityinjection on September 21, 2009
In the dumbest news item of the weekend, a man is suing the Detroit MotorCity casino for failing to stop him from gambling at the establishment even after he filed for bankruptcy in 1996. Italo Mario Parise is seeking to recover some $670,000 he lost over the course of a decade of gambling at MotorCity.
Before I elaborate on all the reasons why this is inane, a brief disclaimer: I personally enjoy gambling at casinos in various states, although I’ve never been to any in Detroit, and I’ve never lost anything even remotely like what the plaintiff in this case gambled away. Heck, I’m not even worth that much alive or dead.
Let’s skip over the most painfully obvious point that it wouldn’t be “gambling” if you could sue to get your money back when you lose. The plaintiff’s case seems to revolve around the premise that casino officials knew, or should have known, about his bankruptcy case and therefore refused his action. This is actually not as ridiculous as it may seem if Parise was what casinos call a “whale” – someone who routinely bets large sums of money and as a result receives special treatment from the casino. Such individuals are obviously very profitable for the casino and they do pay a lot of attention to them. By my math, based on the amount he lost, Parise might have counted as a whale if he gambled about once a month or less frequently. Any more than that, and he probably wouldn’t have stood out enough for the casino to do a backround check and discover his bankruptcy.
But even assuming they did know about it, where is the liability on the part of the casino? If, in spite of his bankruptcy, Parise continued to return to the casino year after year and place more bets, he obviously wasn’t broke. Had Parise been unable to pay his markers, after a certain amount of time he would have been cut off by the casino, not for his benefit but for their own. Instead, he somehow was able to pay off all his losses – and now he wants them back. But his own playing history defeats his case.
If Parise claims he has a gambling problem, he’s got no case there either. Every casino offers phone numbers and literature for gambling addiction resources, but it is not their responsibility to force anyone to use them.
So what we have is yet another case of someone who wants to be bailed out from the consequences of their own actions. I’m against that when it’s AIG or General Motors, and I’m against it when it’s a private citizen. My advice to Parise? Be a man and accept responsibility for your own stupidity. If you didn’t lose your job, wife, kids, or house over your gambling habit, be thankful that 670 large is all you had to pay to learn your lesson.