The Iowa Gaming Association is promoting responsible gambling this week as part of a nationwide focus on the issue. I-G-A president, Wes Ehreke, says surveys continue to show that the number of problem gamblers has stayed steady at around one-percent.

Ehreke says the validated research continues to show that of the people who go to casinos, or do any kind of gambling, that well over 98% can do so and see it as the entertainment that is it intended to be. Ehreke says they want to continue to promote help for those who are problem gamblers, and also help education others so they don’t get into problems.

The “Responsible Gaming Education Week,” this year is focusing on education about slot machines. Ehreke says they have a guide available to help people understand what the machine is, how it works, and general questions about it. He says there are some misperceptions about slot machines — including the notion that you can win a jackpot by playing a machine at a certain time. Ehreke says the information explains that the machines are programmed to be random and there is not pattern to when they pay out.

Ehreke says they want to help people understand that the machines are tested on a regular basis and have a lot of oversight. He says they also want to stress that with slot machines and any gambling that you should play responsibly, betting with your head and not your heart, and using only the discretionary dollars you have set aside for entertainment.

Ehreke says you can find out more about the slot machine guide and gaming in general at the association’s website. Ehreke says they encourage anyone to visit their website at:, or to give them a call at the association’s office if they need more information.

The I-G-A represents the 17 state-licensed casinos. “Responsible Gaming Education Week” runs through this Friday.