Will Three be the Charm?

The requirement to list a person’s “scars” in almost every gaming license application is outdated and unnecessary. Longtime gaming observer Richard Schuetz says the stipulation needlessly infringes on the applicant’s privacy and need to go.

Will Three be the Charm?

One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.—Brian Tracy

Regulatory agencies are monopolies and they generally act like it. They suffer the general tendencies of monopolies in that they are slow to innovate, tend to overcharge, and deliver poor customer service. Oh, and sometimes they do things that are just silly.

Many people within the U,S. gaming ecosystem understand the reasonably goofy requirement demanded by U.S. gaming regulators that license applicants must list any scars they have on their bodies on their gaming license application forms. This demand is accompanied by the stern warning that failure to meet this requirement carries with it the risk of having the application declined. OK—this is stupid.

I have written about this topic twice before, once in a law journal several years back and once in a general gaming publication. I received a great many comments after both articles, all of which basically concluded that such a requirement was silly, and the vast majority of the comments were from people who had gone through the licensing process. Following those articles, nothing changed.

I also began asking my regulator friends if there was ever a circumstance where a scar mattered in a background investigation. Guess what? They all said no. I also began asking people who had been licensed if they listed their circumcisions, vasectomy scars, plastic surgery scars, and the like – and a great many said no. So, all you regulators, this is to put you on notice that a great many of your licensees just don’t take you seriously – and will continue to not take you seriously if you continue to act foolishly by demanding that applicants list all of their scars.

My God, people, a pierced ear is a scar.

I would suspect that this publication would be willing to print an article that disagrees with me, written by a regulator explaining how the collection of scar data has enhanced the regulatory process in their jurisdiction…so send those articles in. But you know what? I doubt there will be any.

Maybe regulators think it is cool to insist that a woman is required to list her scar from a cesarean section, breast augmentation or reduction, a mastectomy, or some such thing on a gaming application so that it can be stored in a government database. Is this really “Gold Standard” stuff?

The American Gaming Association is always bragging about the quality of regulation in the industry. Possibly they could provide a position paper on why collecting scar information is such an important thing. But I would guess they won’t because such a paper would be a joke.

And G2E could have a panel of the heads of the largest gaming agencies in the U.S. to discuss why they need to understand who has been circumcised and has had a vasectomy—and who has not. Moreover, they can enlighten us as to how they audit such information.

Collecting scar information is an antique vestige of a bygone era. To do it today is a fool’s errand, implying, of course, that our regulatory entities are foolish to continue doing it. Maybe if one of you brave bureaucrats will buck the system and accept that collecting scar information is silly and inappropriately intrusive, progress can be made… but I doubt it.

I entered the gaming business over 50 years ago and during that time I have been impressed by many of the incredible men and women who have worked to make gaming regulation an honorable profession. Maybe it is time for some of you modern folks to show them some respect by ending an activity that is not only a foolish exercise but also a waste of your time. This type of silliness damages the brand of regulators, and this hurts the industry.

Please don’t make me write about this a fourth time.