Iowa’s 13 riverboat and racetrack casinos this week are targeting those players who just can’t stay away. It’s “Responsible Gaming Education Week” in Iowa. Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association says they’re trying to teach people the difference between gambling as recreation, and gambling as a compulsion. He says studies show a majority of gamblers can afford to gamble for fun. But he says the one to two percent who’re consider pathological gamblers need assistance.The gambling industry spends millions of dollars each year trying to lure people into Iowa casinos. But, Ehrecke says that’re not interested in people who’re gambling away their mortgage payments or grocery money.He says those who work in the casinos are being taught how to spot and help problem gamblers.Ehrecke says they’re also using the week to lobby for a complete restoration of the funds used for Iowa’s gambling treatment program. Frank Biagioli manages the 1-800-BETS-OFF program, and he says when the economy dips, they see more people try to resolve their paycheck problems at the casino.
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