People love the Nanny State. Love, love, love it. Can't get enough of it, really. So when they don't get enough of it, they hire lawyers and go for the carotid. A group of 'problem gamblers' is suing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for $3.5 billion ($3.5 billion!) letting them into casinos when they specifically asked to be barred. Kind of like an alcoholic suing a bar for selling him booze.
This seems a little odd to me. It's not like the casino forced them inside to gamble. They chose (or were compelled, I suppose) to go in, and all the casino did was let them. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Ontario's temples of chance every year, so it's perhaps a little unreasonable to expect the staff to check everyone against a 'do not admit' list.
I'm not trying to belittle gambling addiction, which is a serious mental illness. But there seems to be a crucial element of personal responsibility missing here. If you're serious about kicking a gambling habit, that's something you need to do yourself. You can't expect the government to do it for you. Addiction sucks, but it's not the OLGC's fault. This is another example of the strange duality of modern civilization- people complain up and down about how bad the government is, yet expect them to fix everything immediately.
Of course, there's a broader issue here about why we permit government-owned gambling in Ontario, amounting to a kind of tax on the poor and sick. It's certainly a muddy issue, and since I sit on the board of an independent theatre company that gets a share of that sweet, sweet gambling cash every year, I'll reserve judgement.
And given the spectacular size of the suit, one wonders if this isn't in fact a further extension of a gambling addiction. Roll the dice, get a few good bounces in court, the province settles...and blam! Big cash payout. Let it ride, folks. Always a smart bet to double down on the welfare state.