Lottery is to Fund Help for Problem GamblersMonday August 24th 2009
Arkansas News has reported that the Lottery is to fund help for problem gamblers. Proceeds are to be made available to help people with gambling addictions. Officials have only just begun negotiations as to how that help might be provided, but the start of the games is now only 6 weeks away.
A yearly amount of $200,000, funded from unclaimed Lottery prize money, is to be made available to the Department of Health in order to treat people with such gambling addictions. However the Department of Health has said that they are more involved with tobacco addiction than gambling addiction, and this should be directed at the Department for Human Resources.
Jerry Cox, who is the executive director of the Christian conservative Family Council, says “every state that runs gambling operations acknowledges that some people become addicted to gambling. The fact that officials are being paid too much is leaving a sour taste is peoples mouths”.
Passailaigue’s who is the third highest paid lottery official, says that creating the programme is not the responsibility of the officials, and that most gambling problems are created by internet gambling. However, a gambling services specialist says that Passailaigue had got it backwards and that most of the calls that they receive are about lottery.
It is expected, according to Arkansas News that the programme is likely to take the same line as that of South Carolina, where people who think they may have a gambling problem are urged to call a hotline. However with such pressure on officials to create a more improved type of programme, it will be interesting to see the how the negotiations are influenced by this pressure.