Hollywood Casino & The Action Card Spam

It’s 8:30pm.  I’m sleeping because all the overtime I work to pay down my student loans nine years early has the unfortunate side effect of occasionally requiring me to live on four hours of sleep.  My phone rings with a phone number I don’t recognize.

717-469-2211.

That’s Grantville.  I don’t know anyone in Grantville, let alone anyone with that number, so I let it go to voicemail.  A few minutes later my voicemail alert goes off.  It can’t be a wrong number; who would call a wrong number and, after hearing the name in the greeting, leave a message?  And a two-minute message at that?

It was Hollywood Casino. 

“Come visit us,” the unbelievably excited voice on the other end of the voicemail said.  Something about some giveaway and some promotion and something else.  They were kind enough to play the pre-recorded message twice, in case I hadn’t gotten as excited as the announcer on the first time.  I was now fully awake two hours before I had to go back to work (which is to say, after two hours of sleep).

I can only assume that they got my number from my membership in their “action card” program, and that they feel this gives them permission to spam me.  It doesn’t.

EDIT:  Since Hollywood Casino has taken the stance that my enrollment in the “action card” program supercedes my rights under 47 USC 227, the “do not call” list, and the Telemarketing Sales Rule, I’ve removed a large part of this post that dealt with my arguments against Hollywood Casino and Penn National.  In the interest of not making their lawyers’ jobs easier, I’m keeping this information to myself for now.  Suffice to say, there is notable legal precedent — as well as the FTC’s opinion statements — that reflect a desire to protect consumers against unwanted marketing.

Without such intent and precedent, “no-call” laws would be absolutely unenforceable.  After all, any business could call any consumer — regardless of that consumer’s status on the “do not call” list or any previous opt-outs sent by the consumer — by stating that they received the consumer’s phone number through “a trusted business partner’s trusted business partner’s trusted business partner’s trusted business partner who is a marketing firm who collected a signature from a consumer, thus opening a business relationship”.