Casinos may face addiction lawsuits
By Paul
Anti-gambling crusaders have predicted that the gambling industry will be hit by class-action lawsuits from gamblers who become addicted.

The Rev. Tom Grey said in April that a lawsuit over gambling addictions against the casino industry is 'a sure thing.'

'Sooner or later, the (slot) machines are going to be labeled as the addictive delivery system,' Grey said in an interview with Business Las Vegas.

Grey, executive director of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, said states haven't already sued the industry because state governments are so dependant on gambling revenues.

'We believe states should bring lawsuits against gambling entities, the same way they did against the tobacco industry,' Grey said. 'Except there's no incentive to do it because they're partners (with the industry). So it's going to take longer. But it's going to happen. If you're a betting person, bet that the lawsuits are coming.'

Grey said that besides states, other potential plaintiffs in lawsuits are casino slot club members, who receive promotions encouraging them to gamble more than regular casino customers.

Grey is not alone in his dire view of the gambling industry: former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger told participants at the New England Conference on Problem Gambling last month that 'somebody is going to sue somebody,' as gambling expands in the US. Harshbarger was one of the first state attorneys general to sue the tobacco industry, adding that 'there is a dramatic public health cost, there is a dramatic social cost' to gambling.

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