Self exclusion should be the last result for anyone engaged in gaming entertainment. Once the switch is flipped, the establishment that the player has asked to be banned from will not under any circumstances allow for a reversal. Sometimes the unintended consequences that arise from this action can not be predicted. This is exactly what happened to Michael Sternfield.
This tale unfolds as many others do in the arena of self exclusion. A player comes to recognize that he may have a problem. Instead of calm rational thought, the individual places the onus on the casino to provide the self control. The casino agrees and Rabbi Michael Sternfield is not allowed to gamble on their property.
The significance of the person in question being a Rabbi will come into play later. The banned player goes back onto the property and commences to gamble. The divine can possess a sense of humor. The Rabbi proceeds to encounter the rarest of the rare. A royal flush is hit on a video poker machine netting him a huge payday. As with most payouts of this magnitude, a background check was performed for a variety of reasons. The truth eventually came to light that the Rabbi had banned himself from the establishment six years prior.
The authorities were called. Mr. Sternfield was placed under arrest. The charges were trespassing and identity deception. After a period of deliberation, the charges were dismissed.
In these ever changing times, most events will eventually come to light. A member of the synagogue happened to stumble upon the Rabbi’s mugshot online. This revelation was passed onto the administration and leaders of the congregation. Mr. Sternfield was asked to step down for the good of the community.
The glitz and glamor of the casino has a broad appeal to a great many people. With the privilege of gaming comes a responsibility. Once a person abdicates personal empowerment to another individual or organization, unintended consequences may ensue. This and other stories illustrate that self-exclusion should be used sparingly and only by those determined to follow through with this extreme commitment.
Learn more about self exclusion from a casino here