Potential legal implications that could stretch far beyond Indiana borders.
In a case that has potential legal implications that could stretch far beyond Indiana borders, Frost Brown Todd attorney Gene Price won a two-year court battle for Caesars Riverboat Casino, now known as the Horseshoe Southern Indiana casino. Indiana casino.
The case involved a Tennessee woman, Genevieve Kephart, who lost $125,000 in a single night of gaming. The casino sued to recover the money it lent her and she counter-sued, claiming the casino had a common-law duty to protect her from herself. Kephart claimed the casino had knowingly taken advantage her pathological gaming history. The court decided the counter-claim was viable. Frost Brown Todd took the case to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the casino, saying that Kephart's lost money was an "injury she chose to risk incurring." Kephart's lawyer filed a petition to the Indiana Supreme Court. In a 4-1 decision, the Supreme Court held that problem gamblers have the responsibility to look after themselves and casinos cannot be expected to protect them if they do not.
Opportunities for gamblers to take personal responsibility include a voluntary exclusion program, allowing compulsive gamblers to place their names on a list of patrons to be banned from casinos for one year, five years or for life.
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“In this case, not only does the statutory scheme cover the entire subject of riverboat gambling, but the statutory scheme and Kephart’s common law claim are so incompatible that they cannot both occupy the same space,” Justice Rucker wrote, echoing the brief filed by Frost Brown Todd. “The existence of the voluntary exclusion program suggests the legislature intended pathological gamblers to take personal responsibility to prevent and protect themselves against compulsive gambling. To allow Kephart’s claim to go forward under the common law would shift primary responsibility from the gambler to casino.”