About 1,330 people have signed up for an Iowa program that bans them for life from state-licensed racetracks and casinos.
If participants are discovered on casino premises, they can be charged with trespassing. If they win at a casino, Iowa law requires that they not be paid, but instead deposit winnings in the Gambling Treatment Fund.
1330 down, 2.998 million to go.
The frightening thing, though, is that while this rule is working for some, some are still gambling with absolutely no chance of striking it rich:
In fiscal 2006, state officials said $182,041 in winnings confiscated at casinos from self-exclusion violators were deposited in the Gambler's Treatment Fund. So far, $17,183 in winnings have been forfeited since July 1. Forfeited prizes ranged from $8 to $16,105.
All of these figures probably do not include Touchplay machines, which gave these problem gamblers a whole new opportunity to lose their paycheck in gas stations and grocery stores.
Nonetheless, though, congratulations go out to these 1330 gamblers. By taking steps to make sure they won't gamble at all, they're getting better odds than the rest of us.