The man who heads Iowa’s gambling treatment program says the state’s compulsive gambling problem is likely a bigger than shown in a University of Northern Iowa study. The UNI study, hailed by gambling supporters, concludes that 99-percent of Iowans don’t have a problem with compulsive gambling. Frank Biagioli directs the Iowa Gambling Treatment Program, which conducts its own poll of Iowans, asking if they gamble. In the latest survey, 38-point-three percent said they did gamble, 55-point-two percent said they don’t, and six-point-four percent didn’t answer or said they weren’t sure. Biagioli says you need to analyze the six percent without a clear answer. There are some people there, he says, who probably have a gambling problem and didn’t want to answer the question. While as many as six-percent are not clearly counted as gamblers or abstainers, Biagioli says the state’s annual surveys show about the same number have an admitted problem. He says one to three percent of the state’s population has a problem and should quit or cut down. The annual state survey is done by Iowa’s Department of Public Health.
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