The state hotline that helps problem gamblers is getting a new operator in July. Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association says Iowa State University’s Extension Department won the contract to administer the hotline. I-S-U extension already runs a couple of other hotlines. Ehrecke says the hotline won’t change — problem gamblers, or their friends and family, can call 800-BETS-OFF to get help. He says callers to the hotline are directed to services which can help them. Ehrecke says treatment providers aren’t happy that the legislature has taken over half of the money that was intended for such treatment programs as the hotline.The state’s race tracks, casinos and the Iowa lottery paid three-point-six million dollars into the prevention fund. The legislature this year sent two million dollars of that money to other programs.
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