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Pennsylvania State Highlights Education, Treatment Services During 'Problem Gambling Awareness Week'
Date:2/27/2009

easurable activity. All six racetracks in the state have instituted policies that promote safe, responsible gambling and are reviewed by the Licensing and Enforcement Board to protect Pennsylvania citizens, according to Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff.

"We invite Pennsylvanians to enjoy the excitement of live thoroughbred and standardbred racing at any of our six racetracks," said Secretary Wolff. "Visitors to the tracks are encouraged to wager responsibly, whether they are betting on who will win the next race or visiting the casino to play the slot machines."

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees the slots industry which was designed to produce tremendous benefits for Pennsylvania residents. However, for some residents, gambling is an addiction with serious implications.

"Problem gambling is an issue that can affect Pennsylvanians of any age, race and ethnic background and can have significant societal and economic costs," said Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins. "We recognized that early and the Board became only the second jurisdiction in the nation to establish an Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling to address these issues."

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board requires each casino to establish and comply with an approved compulsive and problem gambling plan. In addition, it administers a casino self-exclusion program through which individuals may ban themselves from casinos in Pennsylvania. To apply for self-exclusion, visit www.pgcb.state.pa.us and choose the Compulsive and Problem Gambling link.

Problem gambling is defined as an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or gambling despite an urge to stop. Research has shown that roughly 1-3 percent of Americans will develop a gambling problem sometime in life.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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