CINCINNATI - While many people have been excited to explore Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati, one local woman was angered and disappointed after she was kicked out twice over the weekend.
Elizabeth Hoskins, of Milford, went to the new casino with her daughter and brother Saturday morning to check it out.
Hoskins said she wanted to get her Total Rewards card but instead was approached by security. She said an employee told her she had to leave because she was banned from Caesar Entertainment properties, which include the Cincinnati casino.
"I didn't know why, and I kept asking why, and he couldn't give me any answers," Hoskins said. "I was kind of embarrassed with people looking and then kind of upset at the same time to think that I knew I hadn't done anything. But it was like they weren't willing at the time to try to help me."
Casino customer service representatives have since been in touch with Hoskins, said spokeswoman Jennifer Kulczycki. She confirmed that Hoskins has the same name as another woman who is banned from Caesars properties.
"We train our workforce very adamantly to adhere to this exclusion list protocol. So they might have had just a little bit of over vigilance on that," Kulczycki said. "We've talked to her about making it right for her."
The whole mistake took a while to figure out, however.
Hoskins said that when she asked to speak with a casino supervisor, she was told her only option was to call someone.
Hoskins' daughter called the Horseshoe Southern Indiana near Louisville, the first place Hoskins had gambled. Staff there determined Hoskins had been confused with another woman who had the same name but a different birthday and who lives in California.
Later that day, a Horseshoe employee contacted Hoskins and told her the problem had been resolved and that she was welcome to come again.
Hoskins returned to Horseshoe on Sunday and received her Total Rewards card. Staffers told her she had nothing to worry about and gave her a free buffet for the mix-up.
Hoskins said after she and her family had eaten and gambled, they realized security was following them. Security from the Ohio Casino Control Commission stopped Hoskins and told her she was trespassing and not allowed on the property. They took her to an interview room and questioned her.
"He said he had to read me my rights and do all that, you know, and I kept telling him 'you'll find out it's not me,'" Hoskins said. "I said, 'I know what they're going to tell you, that it's a lady with the same name, a different birth date and lives in California.'"
After 30 minutes, security allowed her back into the casino. She said a Horseshoe representative assured her everything had been cleared up but didn't have an answer as to why problems arose a second time.
"I have not gone to any [casinos] in Ohio because I waited for the one to come to my hometown, you know, my city, and to have that happen..." Hoskins said.
Hoskins said she will visit Horseshoe again, but acknowledged that she will be worried that she will be watched.
There are a variety of reasons people can be banned from casinos, said Tama Davis, director of communications for the Ohio Casino Control Commission.
The state has a "voluntary exclusion list," and problem gamblers can be asked to be placed on the list for one year, five years or for life, she said. There are currently nearly 300 names on that list.
There's also an "involuntary exclusion list" for people with criminal records who are banned from Ohio's casinos, she said. Currently there are no names on that list, but state officials are examining the records of people who have been convicted of gaming violations to determine whether their names should be added, said Karen Huey, the commission's director of enforcement.
The criteria for inclusion on that list is "fairly broad," Huey said, and includes felony convictions, a violation of any gaming law in this state or other states, a crime involving "moral turpitude" or a history of failing to pay taxes, she said.
There is a legal process to place someone on that list. Anyone being considered for the list will be notified by the state and will have a chance to appeal the decision through an administrative process, Huey said.
The list will become public once it's compiled and will include physical descriptions, names and aliases of the people on it, she said.
Casinos also can ban individuals from their properties if, for example, the individuals are "known card counters," Davis said. Typically casino owners share that information among their properties, she said.
In Hoskins' case, she was mistaken for someone who had placed herself on one of the casino's exclusion lists, Huey said.
"In this situation, casino management mistakenly referred this person to the commission," she said. "These are new agents, and we're going to use all these opportunities as a training opportunity."
State officials recommend casino patrons contact The Ohio Casino Control Commission if they have questions or run into a similar problem.