A University of Northern Iowa sociology professor says her studies show the problems brought on by gambling outweigh the benefits a casino might bring. Katherine Van Wormer’s speaking out against gambling as Black Hawk County residents go to the polls to vote on a referendum to allow gambling. Proponents says a casino would be a big boost to the local economy, but Van Wormer says the social cost is too high. She says a lot of people with other addiction problems turn to gambling. She says these problem or “pathological” gamblers are the ones who’re making the owners of the casinos rich. Van Wormer says she agrees that it’s a small percentage of the gamblers who have a problem.She says most people gamble in a normal way, and she doesn’t have a problem with that, it’s the minority that get hooked that she’s concerned about. She says the small minority that get hooked can have some big problems. She says 20 percent of the problem gamblers have attempted suicide. She says many embezzle money to fuel their gambling habit, when they are really good people. Van Wormer says in the case of Black Hawk County, the big money will leave to out-of-state owners.She says all the problems will stay in the community, while the big money will go to Biloxi, Mississippi and the casino owners. Palo Alto and Worth Counties have already approved gambling referendums, while they failed in Dickinson and Cerro Gordo. Wapello and Linn County have upcoming votes on gambling referendums.
You are here: / / Professor says gambling ills outweigh benefits