This first week of August has been designated “Iowa Responsible Gaming Education Week.” Wes Ehrecke of the Iowa Gaming Association says the week is designed to remind casinos– and the public — to keep gambling in perspective. He says this is a heightened focus to advocate that gambling should be kept as fun and entertainment. Ehrecke says the casinos don’t want people to become problem gamblers. He says they work very closely with the ten gambling counseling treatment centers so casino workers know the warning signs of problem gambling. He says those centers also set up tables at the casinos to answer questions about problem gambling. A recent survey showed the number of problem gamblers in Iowa has stayed at about one-percent, with around two percent who think they may have a problem. Ehrecke says people can enjoy a trip to the casino without driving themselves to bankruptcy. He says.”The whole idea that we advocate is to spend discretionary dollars earmarked for entertainment. And certainly you have to be responsible in doing so.” He says for the people who can’t they want to make sure there are avenues for assistance. Ehrecke says they don’t want to dismiss those with problems, but he says they want people to know that it’s a small group. He says they “want to make sure that one problem gambler is one too many.” Ehrecke says there are very good avenues for helping people with compulsive behavior. He says Iowa as the premiere model for helping people who do have a compulsive behavior. For more information on gambling in Iowa, surf to:iowagaming.org.
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