Pt 1: Casino Self-Exclusion - To help problem gamblers battle their addiction, many casinos offer a special program. Gamblers can a sign a 'self-exclusion agreement,' which requires casino operators to kick them off the premises if they try to hit the slots. But whether those agreements actually work is coming under heavy scrutiny in B.C., where two lawsuits have been launched, alleging the gaming industry didn't hold up its end of the bargain. (Read More)
Pt 2: Pan-African Dream - For decades, African leaders have been conjuring with the idea of a United States of Africa. Is the dream still alive? And could it really come true? (Read More)
Having trouble with our audio or video players? Check out the Help Page
Whole Show Blow-by-Blow
Today's guest host was Jim Brown.
It's Thursday July 29th.
The Harper government has agreed to release documents and correspondence related to their controversial decision to scrap the mandatory long-form census.
Currently, The government's decision to release the documents was entirely voluntary...so don't be surprised if they're useless.
This is The Current.
Casino Self-Exclusion - Michael Lee
Michael Lee was elated when he won the casino jackpot - 42-thousand dollars. But the thrill was short-lived...and what happened next is now the subject of a lawsuit.
You see, a couple of years ago, Lee realized that he was a little too tempted by gambling - and needed help. So he signed up for a program in British Columbia that would bar him from casinos. His lawyer Joshua Weiszner explained in a clip.
So Michael Lee signed the agreement. His name and photo were put in the system. He'd resolved to stop gambling - and now he had backup, just in case. If he did have a moment of weakness, the casino wouldn't let him fall off the wagon. At least, that's the way it was supposed to work.
And so Michael Lee returned to the casino, again and again, convinced he'd be allowed in - no problem. Suddenly, the self-exclusion program kicked in - when the casino faced losing thousands of dollars.
Joshua Weiszner is Michael Lee's lawyer in a case now before the BC courts. Lee is suing to get his jackpot money back.
The BC Lottery Corporation has a rule that people who've signed self-exclusion agreements forfeit winnings. But Lee signed his agreement in 2007, two years before that rule existed. And regardless, his lawyer says the fact that his client was in the casino gambling means the agreement to keep him out was breached - so related rules do not apply.
Casino Self-Exclusion - Joy Ross
Now Michael Lee isn't the only one who has a beef with these self-exclusion programs. Joy Ross launched the first case of its kind in BC - suing the BC Lottery Corporation and two local casinos, alleging they did not effectively enforce her agreement. She lives in Delta BC, and was in Vancouver this morning.
Joy Ross is one of more than 65 hundred people enrolled in the self-exclusion program in BC.
The Province and BCLC have agreed to look at the voluntary self-exclusion program and consider improvements to the program, which may include the use of ID checking systems.
Casino Self-Exclusion - Robert Williams
Other provinces and countries have similar self-exclusion programs - and some of them are running into problems too. In Canada, the programs are under legal challenge in Ontario and Alberta.
Casino Self-Exclusion - Tony Bitonti
Each province is responsible for its own gaming industry but since we weren't able to get anyone from the British Columbia Lottery Corporation to give us their perspective on self-exclusion agreements, we put our questions to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation instead.
Tony Bitonti is the Senior Manager of Media Relations for the OLG. We asked him how self-exclusion agreements work in Ontario. We also asked how technology can help the Ontario Lottery and Gaming with its self-exclusion.
Pan-African Dream - Didier Awadi
We started this segment with Bob Marley and the Wailers 1979 hit, Africa Unite - which helped popularize the concept of a united Africa. But the pan-African dream was alive long before Marley brought it to the airwaves.
In the 1950s and 60s, as many African countries struggled to break free from their colonizers, they hoped for more than just independence. They wanted an African federation. One of the leaders of the movement was Ghana's first independent leader Kwame Nkrumah. We aired a clip of him speaking at an All African Peoples Congress in 1958.
The first step toward a united Africa was the Organization of African Unity. Then in 2002, came a new organization, the African Union. The African Union set itself an ambitious goal ... by 2025, it would build - quote - a united and integrated Africa. Today, that dream remains unfulfilled but there are still many pushing for it, including Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. We aired a clip.
As we continue our summer series on the fiftieth anniversary of African independence, we're asking where that pan-African dream might go. Didier Awadi, for one, has high hopes. He's a Senegalese hip hop artist who is pushing for a united Africa through his music. In his new album, Presidents of Africa, he combines his rap with the speeches of independence leaders. He joined us from Dakar.
Pan-African Dream - Panel
Didier Awadi is not the only one inspired by the possibility of a united Africa. Across Africa - and the world - the pan-African dream is shaping the work of novelists, archivists and Internet activists.
It's also being discussed at the highest levels of African leadership. Molefi Asante knows that first hand. He's an African-American scholar who was, for many years, an advisor to the government of Senegal on the question of an African federation. He is a professor at Temple University in Philadelphia and author of The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony. He was in Philadelphia.
And John Campbell is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria. His upcoming book is called Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink. He was in Washington, D.C.
CBC does not endorse content of external sites - links will open in new window