Archive for Friday, August 2, 2013

Gambling could hurt 26 percent of Kansans, survey concludes

August 2, 2013


TOPEKA — A survey says up to 9 percent of Kansans are at risk of developing a gambling problem and that 26 percent of the state’s residents could be affected by the uncontrolled gambling of a relative or friend.

The survey was presented Wednesday to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and members of the state’s problem gambling task force. The telephone survey of 1,600 adults in Kansas was conducted for the department to help determine how the state should spend $400,000 in new funding to combat problem gambling.

Legislators increased the funding for problem gambling programs to $1.2 million in fiscal 2013-14, which began July 1. The increase was in response to concerns that Kansas was benefiting financially from gambling but doing too little to treat gambling problems.

Kansas has three state-owned casinos and a statewide lottery.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that a member of the firm that conducted the survey, Doug Ballou, said the age of residents likely to feel the effects of gambling ranged from teenagers to retirees.

“There’s never really going to be enough money” to help problem gamblers and those affected by it, Ballou said. “We can ill afford to send mixed messages.”

The survey says one in six gamblers did so to win money to pay bills or cope with everyday problems. The lottery was the most common form of gambling cited, with 47 percent of adults playing in the past year.

In addition, one-fifth of residents who seldom or never gambled said they refrained because of the distance to casinos, rather than any lack of interest in gambling.

Jean Holthaus, manager of problem gambling services for Aging and Disability Services, said a plan was being developed to help problem gamblers.

The plan could include more advertising about gambling’s dangers, more outpatient treatment, workforce training for gambling addicts and a better statewide hotline. The hotline offers guidance for gambling addicts on treatment options.


Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas striking it rich with problem gambling fund

Less than 10 percent of casino-financed treatment money reaching gamblers in crisis

Instead of targeting resources earmarked for treatment of Kansans intoxicated by the glitz of Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Hollywood Casino in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, or tribal and out-of-state venues, the state has consistently diverted the money to other government priorities.

"That violates the intent of the Legislature," said Rep. Kathy Moore, D-Kansas City. "I absolutely think there is a need. It ought to go to treatment for gambling addictions."

Angela de Rocha, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, said Brownback didn't eliminate all funding for problem gambling services in his January budget blueprint, but did recommend a 50 percent reduction.

The Brownback administration is receptive, she said, to restoration of $740,000 currently appropriated for problem gambling staff salaries, marketing, counseling and a hot line.

Under the scenario emerging in the House and Senate, the governor also would remove $1 million from the problem gambling fund to cover non-Medicaid substance abuse grants and deliver $500,000 to the Kansas Department of Corrections. He would again take $6.5 million from the 2 percent fee paid by casinos to underwrite Medicaid-funded drug and alcohol abuse programs.

Paul Wilson 4 years, 10 months ago

I thought our State and Federal Government cared about the poor..?? The lottery is simply a tax on the gullible. Which in this case...the gullible are too often people who simply cannot afford this tax. They prey on greed. You may say it is their choice to buy the ticket. This is not the business people who care about people are involved in. Also...the lottery was sold to us as a savior to school funding issues. Yet our schools continue to suffer. You can blame it on Brownback like you do everything else...but Gov. Sebelius couldn't fund our schools either. Do not pay this tax on stupidity.

Armored_One 4 years, 10 months ago

And if the subject of the study was changed from gambling to guns, the NRA would call for a boycott of Kansas and claim we are advocating scrapping the Second Amendment, or some other load of bull feathers.

riverdrifter 4 years, 10 months ago

Eh, people should forget those plywood/osb smoke-filled juke joints with bad and unhealthy food. If you want to gamble, thoroughbred horse racing is much more beautiful and it's outdoors at beautiful tracks. I don't wager much, but I'm on top 4 out of the last five years. Compared to a paddock, casinos stink.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Just what local college students need is a local gambling casino to overload their credit cards and send parents a new chilling experience known as gambling debt.

Will fewer parents send their students to Lawrence?

Who knows?

gr 4 years, 10 months ago

As long as Missouri and Oklahoma have the same problem then we want it too!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.