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Massachusetts AG Wants Casinos To Be Banned From Placing Liens On Gamblers' Homes

State Official Says Practice Is Terrible And Shouldn't Be Allowed


A Massachusetts official wants to make a rule to protect gamblers from what she thinks would be exorbitant debt collection by casino firms, The Boston Globe reported.

Right now, Massachusetts doesn’t have any Las Vegas-style brick-and-mortar casinos, but three, in addition to a slots-only parlor, are on their way. A lot of interest has been generated.

The concern stems around the practice of extending credit to certain players so they can gamble. This can happen, for example, for high-rollers who don’t want to carry around a lot of cash. However, it can be used for anyone the casino believes to be credit worthy.

Some casinos elsewhere have placed liens on people’s homes for failing to repay after losing the money they had borrowed to gamble with.

“Protecting against predatory lending and overly aggressive debt collection in the gaming industry is critical, because the odds are stacked against the patron being able to earn back the value of the loan,” Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley wrote in a letter to gaming regulators. “This practice by the gaming industry in which customers’ homes are put at risk should not be allowed.” Currently, there are no rules against the liens.

Massachusetts regulators reportedly will discuss the issue at an upcoming meeting.