'Nobody stopped me' at the casino: Ontario self-exclusion program fails to keep gambling addicts out

Facial recognition technology was set up to spot self-excluding gamblers who would be asked to leave

Despite promoting responsible gambling, the Ontario government's program to help addicts stay out of casinos is failing to do so, an investigation by CBC's The Fifth Estate has found.

Gambling addicts interviewed by The Fifth Estate said that while on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG)'s self-exclusion list, they entered OLG properties on a regular basis.

"For that first six-month period, I went back probably 10 times," said Joe Frieri, a gambler in the Greater Toronto Area who self-excluded three times over three years.

Frieri figures he'd lost up to $300,000 before self-excluding the first time in 2008. He was wrestling with his addiction, and says he felt he needed the OLG's help.

"In this case, I couldn't do it on my own anymore."

Even though he was on the list, Frieri said he was never stopped from entering casinos in Ontario.

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