Gambling addiction in US: more slots, more addiction?

Gambling addiction in US: more slots, more addiction?

Maine to run state programs for compulsive gamblers. Slide out of gambling addiction (which is easier acquired with slots), don't sink in it. Just take a look at these slots under water.

Maine to prevent gambling addiction, which is likely to rise with slot machines.

With Maine's first slot machines slated to go into operation in November, the state is getting ready to respond to the prospect of an increase in the problem of gambling addiction, reports Maine Today. Maine now has no state programs for compulsive gamblers, but that will change after Penn National Gaming opens its temporary facility at Betsafe online casino in Las Vegas and sets aside part of the proceeds to deal with the problem.

The state Office of Substance Abuse, which has experience treating alcohol and drug addictions, briefed the Maine Gambling Control Board on Thursday on what it might expect with the expansion of gambling in Maine.

Although the state lacks hard data, director Kim Johnson said a 1998 survey on the prevalence of substance abuse found that about 2,000 Mainers considered themselves problem gamblers.

"Currently, the rate is very low, at less than 1 percent (of Maine's population)," Johnson said.

"That's partly because there wasn't a lot of access (to gambling)," she said, adding that the number of compulsive gamblers is higher in states with a longer track record of top rated online casinos gambling.

In theory, 10 percent of those afflicted with a gambling addiction will seek help, she said, but the state has little to offer in the way of treatment. Two chapters of Gamblers Anonymous, both in Portland, are the only available resources, she said.

Johnson proposed that the state provide a training program to develop a network of qualified professionals to deal with problem gambling.

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