As States look for new revenue, expanding gambling becomes the go to route. In the past year Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, New York and other states have discussed expansions. There are also some states who have been challenged on their desires to expand. Citizens groups are bringing up concerns over the damage to families and communities.
The ways of expanding the market are not just building casinos although that is the most obvious way. Here are ideas being discussed.
- · Online Casinos
- · Subscription plans for Lotteries
- · Poker Rooms (online and conventional)
Citizens groups have voiced their concern that this will cause increases in social problems. They point to the shortage of help for Compulsive Gamblers and families, the effect on people who already cannot afford to pay bills and those who are desperate for ‘fast money’.
Even those who are ‘ok’ with the present gambling may find it hard to understand why more places are needed. The argument can be made that expansion could hurt the present market although it is more likely that more people will gamble.
Two reports have been released that reveal not only the numbers behind gambling revenues but also the numbers behind treatment. The AGA (American Gaming Association) has covered the money and jobs side of Gambling for 2013. The Association of Problem Gambling Service Administrators (APGSA) and the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) put out a report in respect to the money provided for treatment relative to the need.
As expected, the AGA reports on all the Jobs and benefits of growing the business with little to no acknowledgment of the problems. Looking at both reports gives a more complete picture of what is going on but sadly there is no real report on the hidden compulsive gamblers. It is not for a lack of trying on the part of both the ASGSA and NCPG. The hidden compulsive gambler simply is not reporting they have a problem so no one is aware of them.
The missing part of the report shows up in one of three ways and usually not until that point. Compulsive Gamblers have to hit a bottom that gets them connected with help. The discovery of a compulsive gambler seldom comes with signs before one of the three things below happen.
- · Prison
- · Insanity
- · Death
Unlike other addictions where you see physical symptoms, Compulsive Gambling seldom has a ‘tell’ until the very end.