Iowa’s 13 casinos will be highlighting their efforts to combat problem gambling today (Monday) through Friday as part of “Responsible Gaming Education Week.” Wes Ehrecke, the president of the Iowa Gaming Association, says the week highlights a year’s worth of activity.He says throughout the year casinos are training employees to recognize compulsive behaviors and to learn intervention skills, while working with intervention providers. Ehrecke says the University of Northern Iowa studies the issue of problem gambling every year — and says they found just a small amount of people who don’t gamble responsibly. He says they polled five-thousand Iowans by phone this past year and found about one-point seven percent of the 33-percent of Iowans who gamble experience some problems. Ehrecke says problem gambling is likely getting a little more attention this year due to the discussion over expanded gambling. He says prevention programs were included in the discussion.He says the legislature made a good move by increasing the amount of funding in the gambling treatment program during the discussion. He says the increased funding will make it the premiere program for prevention and outreach. Ehrecke says gambling facilities are also doing what they can to keep problem gamblersHe says casinos have created on their own a voluntary self exclusion program for people’s access to credit, where people’s access to credit cards can be banned for use at casinos. He says there’s a test you can take on the gambling association’s website to see if you might have a problem. For more information, surf to:www.iowagaming.org.
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