Question: When Indiana s legislature legalized riverboat gambling in the early1990s it

When Indiana's legislature legalized riverboat gambling in the early1990s, it adopted laws setting forth a broad-ranging regulatory regime. The legislature established the Indiana Gaming Commission as the administrative agency responsible for licensing providers of riverboat gambling and for otherwise regulating the riverboat gambling system (including the taking of disciplinary action against licensees when necessary). The legislature also directed the Commission to adopt regulations consistent with the authority delegated to it by statute. In accordance with one such statutory directive, the Commission created a voluntary exclusion program. Under this program, any person could request to have his or her name placed on a voluntary exclusion list by providing contact information, a physical description, and a desired time period of exclusion from casinos-one year, fi ve years, or lifetime. Casinos must have procedures by which excluded individuals are not allowed to gamble, do not receive direct marketing, and are not extended check-cashing or credit privileges. A casino's failure to comply with the exclusion program regulations makes it subject to disciplinary action.
Caesars Riverboat Casino, LLC ("Caesars") was a licensed operator of a riverboat casino in Elizabeth, Indiana. Genevieve Kephart, a Tennessee resident who was addicted to gambling, traveled to Caesars after receiving an offer of free transportation, hotel room, food, and alcohol from Caesars. In a single night of gambling, Kephart lost $125,000 through the use of six counter checks provided to her by Caesars.
When the counter checks were returned to Caesars for insufficient funds, Caesars sued Kephart to collect what she owed. Kephart counterclaimed, alleging that Caesars knew of her gambling addiction and had taken advantage of that addiction. She sought damages for the consequences resulting from the $125,000 loss, including damages for mental, emotional, and psychological injury. Kephart, who had not sought to invoke the voluntary exclusion program described above, contended that Caesars owed her a common law duty to protect her from its enticements to gamble because it knew she was addicted to gambling.
Caesars moved to dismiss Kephart's counterclaim.
Caesars argued that in light of the statutes and regulations referred to above, no such common law cause of action should be recognized. Was Caesars correct?

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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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