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Editorial: Gaming helps Wisconsin tribes but carries human cost

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: wisconsin
Wisconsin newspaper warns of the human cost associated with the growth of the Indian gaming industry:
Gambling is a vice, albeit a legal one, and it is one that will create a destructive dependence in some percentage of those who participate.

For Diana Abelt, the 66-year-old Racine-area woman who told her story to Gannett Wisconsin Media, gambling was a dangerous addiction that seized her, rewiring the connections in her brain to the point that it didn’t matter if she lost her house, her husband, her family.

Something like 2.3 percent of people in the U.S. who gamble are considered “problem gamblers,” according to the American Gaming Association, meaning they show some compulsive traits. Compulsive gamblers such as Abelt, the profoundly addicted who lose the ability to make basic trade-offs, are 0.6 percent of the gambling population.

The details of Abelt’s descent into addiction — she was caught stealing from her employer; she nearly destroyed her marriage — are sadly typical. To her credit, she finally sought help through a 12-step program, has stayed away from gambling for more than a decade now and has become active on the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling.

Get the Story:
Editorial: Gambling benefits Wisconsin tribes, but human costs are real: Our View (The Wasau Daily Herald 3/5)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Per capita payouts a balancing act for Wisconsin tribes (3/3)

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