Get on the Bus!

For the third year in a row the Springboard Bus Tour will hit the road leading up to TechEd.  If you have never met the bus you are missing out, because it delivers expert advice, great learning, and huge career benefits to IT Pros.  It delivers answers to questions you may have been having about desktop deployment, virtualization, managing consumer-devices in the office, cloud solutions such as Intune and Office 365, Application Compatibility, and much more! MSW-Tour-CityBanners

This year I am very excited, because my city (my adopted city, really…) has been chosen as the launching point!  That’s right, on May 2nd we will be taking over the MaRS Centre, South Tower at 101 College Street in downtown Toronto, CANADA!  (Yes, I know there’s a typo on the registration page… we’re fixing it!

So if you live in the Golden Horseshoe – or really anywhere from London to Kingston, Buffalo to Orillia, come join us for a great day of Windows 7, Office, MDOP, and more!

REGISTER NOW and save your seat for this free day of technical demos, Q&A sessions, and real-world guidance from Microsoft experts. We’ll see you on the road… and make sure to come say hi to me, Sean, and the rest of the STEP MVPs!

Oh, and remember… if you are not in or around Toronto, the Springboard Series Tour Bus is making stops in Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Dallas, and Columbus… so you still have a chance to catch up and learn!

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Ontario Lottery & Gaming–Another Cash Grab?

I was reading the Globe and Mail on the train the other day and there was an article about the Ontario Lottery & Gaming casinos, and their voluntary exclusion program (which they admit is relatively toothless and ineffective). 

The Self-Exclusion program (http://www.knowyourlimit.ca/self-exclusion.html) is a program where people who see themselves as having a problem can  put themselves on a list which will let the Casino exclude them from the premises (to the point that if found on the premises could be arrested for trespassing). 

The article focused on one problem gambler who has lost Sixty Thousand Dollars at OLG Casinos since putting himself on the Self-Exclusion List, not once having been asked to leave the premises.

The article quotes the OLG spokesman as saying they are petitioning the government to allow them to withhold winnings from people on the list.  They claim it would be a good disincentive to problem gamblers who come to the Casino despite their voluntary exclusion.

I understand their thinking, but truly believe that if the government gives them that right, they should also force them to return any monies lost by the same problem gamblers.  Only then would I believe that they have any legitimate claims, and are not simply trying to get MORE money (they made $1.9 Billion last year).

Despite their protestations to the contrary, it is not in the OLG’s best interests to stop problem gamblers from gambling, and as a government agency there is no incentive to the government to enact legislation with teeth.  If there is going to be any chance of helping problem gamblers it has to be at the hands of an independent organization, funded by the government but at arm’s length, who can not only help problem gamblers but who can also post agents at the door of every Casino in the province and having anyone on the Self-Exclusion List arrested upon entry. 

The OLG is investing in a facial recognition system for their Casinos.  Only if that system were to be manned and enforced by a 3rd party could we expect that there is any intent of keeping problem gamblers away.