The week of March 3 was designated as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.
We live in a time of easily accessible gambling opportunities both legal and illegal. Indiana is like 47 other states in that some form of gambling is legal. Sports betting is illegal in Indiana, but readily available. People “play” the stock market, they just don’t think of it as gambling. The Hoosier Lottery started operating in 1989 and the first of our 13 casinos — two of which are also horse racing tracks — opened in 1995. Indiana also offers off-track betting parlors (OTBs), about 3,000 charitable gaming entities (bingo/pull tabs/raffles) and many bars with raffles/punch boards.
Illinois is in the process of adding to its number of casinos. Michigan has a Tribal Indian casino near our boarder. Ohio will soon have four casinos. Kentucky has been exploring the approval of casinos and electronic gaming at its horse racing tracks. All of these states have lotteries.
In Indiana, the gaming industry has historically provided billions of dollars in revenue to the state and local governments for the benefit of Hoosier citizens. Recently, the Hoosier Lottery entered into a contract with an integrated services provider. The agreement will not only see the state’s general fund realize an additional $500 million of revenue over the next five years, but will also deepen the Hoosier Lottery’s commitment to and implementation of programs focused on social responsibility. Similarly, the casinos continue to help revitalize the communities in which they are based — and all of this at a time when competition for these dollars is increasing.
Now, the Indiana General Assembly is considering legislation that would add table games at our two horse racing tracks. However, also being considered is a $1 million cut in funding for the Indiana Problem Gamblers Fund. This fund currently receives slightly more than $5 million each year, but only $2 million is currently being spent on problem gambling initiatives. The other $3 million is diverted to greatly under-funded alcohol/drug treatment efforts.
The Problem Gamblers Fund’s dollars currently underwrite treatment for problem gamblers and their families, funds the Voluntary Casino Exclusion Program (VEP), trains those providing counseling to problem gamblers and supports afterschool addiction prevention efforts in some schools. The Indiana Council on Problem Gambling received $36,000 this year from these dollars for specific problem gambling activities.
Decreasing dollars that help repair the damage that problem gamblers do to themselves and their families at a time when we are expanding our efforts to increase gaming revenues makes no sense.
The Indiana Council on Problem Gambling (ICPG) works to ensure that resources and efforts to help those impacted by the negative consequences of gambling are available to the 3 percent of gamblers who will develop a gambling addiction. The ICPG maintains a neutral position on legalized gambling; we neither oppose it nor support it. We work with the problem gamblers and their families, Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon, treatment providers, state government, the Hoosier Lottery, the casino properties and all others who seek to help those who have a gambling addiction.
The ICPG can be reached at: (866) 699-4274 and can be found at www.indianaproblemgambling.org. The Indiana Problem Gambling Help line is available 24/7/365 at: 800-994-8448.
For more information about problem gambling, please visit www.npgaw.org.
— Jerry L. Long
Indiana Council on Problem Gambling
The week of March 3 was designated as National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.
RONN MOTT: Troubled history in that place called Iraq
People are dying, again, in Iraq. And, again, people other than Iraqis will ultimately make the decision about what happens to this ancient land.
Editorial: The Bennett ‘settlement’
It takes a special kind of arrogance to flout ethics laws in the manner which former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has violated them. Even when he finally admitted his transgressions, he claimed he could have avoided the matter altogether had he just changed the department’s ethics policy before engaging in the troublesome conduct.
In essence, this was the old “mistakes were made” acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And the real mistake to which Bennett admits was apparently not changing the rules before he violated them. This is a truly Nixonian moment.
- Readers’ Forum: July 11, 2014
RONN MOTT: That Old Man River
I was surprised to learn the people in Cairo are now taking water taxis to avoid the traffic, the confusion and the dangers that are appearing on Cairo, Egypt’s, streets. I mean, I was surprised the people in Cairo, these native Egyptians, were surprised they could take a water taxi and get to where they wanted to go using the Nile River as a highway. So, for the Egyptians living in Cairo, everything old is brand new again.
EDITORIAL: A green idea worth pursuing
It sounds like a blue-ribbon idea.
READERS' FORUM: July 10, 2014
• Herb Faire a great success
• Appreciation for a ‘lovely angel’
• Thanks for stirring fireworks show
EDITORIAL: Be safe, be responsible
The Independence Day weekend brought a brief respite in construction work on area roadways. In particular, it provided needed relief to the congested segment of Interstate 70 in Clay County that is undergoing resurfacing this summer.
Readers’ Forum: July 9, 2014
• Don’t eliminate our six-day mail
• Zamperini death stirs memories
RONN MOTT: Black Dog
We had some excitement around our house the other day and it was not the good kind.
There was a small dog, black in color with a spiked collar on his neck, and he was the spitting image of a small Doberman. I don’t know if they have miniature Dobermans but this dog could have been a mixed breed that came out looking like a Doberman although smaller.
Readers’ Forum: July 8, 2014
• T-S ignores common decency
• Lighten up on Donald Sterling
• Time to reject Dems in Congress
• Fueling the EPA
MS. TAKES: Great music is made during all generations
Number Two son tells us that his 20-year-old son has been listening to “Big Band” music with apparent enjoyment. As if that wasn’t enough of a surprise, I was talking with a young girl, barely out of her teens and she told us that she really wasn’t into rap. She said, “It isn’t really music, it’s just talk.”
Readers’ Forum: July 7, 2014
• The moral issue is major issue
Editorial: City financial health demands an open, honest discussion
Obscured by the recent rift over use of departmental funds in the city of Terre Haute’s budget are serious issues related to our city government’s overall financial health. The answers may be mired in the complexity of municipal finance, but coming to grips with the situation is important to the city’s future.
Readers’ Forum: July 6, 2014
• Coats ignoring climate science
• Do those mustache posters exist?
• Utility rate freeze took determination
• What perversion is next in line?
• Opinions vary, but voters will decide
• This preaching must stop — now
• Golf fundraiser a huge success
Flashpoint: State’s lawyer has duty to represent state in marriage lawsuit appeal
Recent federal court actions that first struck down Indiana’s statute limiting marriage to the traditional definition, and then stayed that order pending appeal, have left many in our state in legal limbo. As the attorney who represents state government and defends its laws, I know this difficult case stirs many people’s deeply held beliefs that touch their lives in very personal ways. Not since my office had to represent the state in lawsuits arising from the State Fair disaster has a dispute been so seemingly impossible to address in a way that the public would accept as being fair to all concerned.
Flashpoint: The Supreme Court decision and ‘closely held’ corporations
The much awaited Supreme Court decision in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby came down this week. The court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the 1993 Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) does cover “closely held” corporations, even if those corporations are for profit.
RONN MOTT: Learning more about Jefferson
During this Fourth of July weekend, I’ll be reading John Meacham’s biography of Thomas Jefferson.
EDITORIAL: Celebrate your independence
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
As eloquent and declaratory as that statement is, implementing its principles has been a decades-long pursuit for these United States of America. Our nation, it seems, is the quintessential work in progress, even though what this country has created in terms of a stable, collective society is, let’s face it, pretty darn good.
- Readers’ Forum: July 4, 2014
RONN MOTT: The Men Who Made the Country
The Fourth of July is the day we celebrate our independence from Great Britain. It reminds me of something David Ben-Gurion would say, at a much later date, about British rule: “If you have to have a master, the British are about as good at it as anybody.” Of course, we really don’t need a master.
GREG ZOELLER: State’s lawyer has duty to represent state in marriage lawsuit appeal
Recent federal court actions that first struck down Indiana’s statute limiting marriage to the traditional definition, and then stayed that order pending appeal, have left many in our state in legal limbo.
Readers’ Forum: July 3, 2014
• Over the top on immigration
FLASHPOINT: HIP 2.0 gives consumers better choices
On Wednesday, the State of Indiana submitted its proposal for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
MIKE PENCE: HIP 2.0 gives consumers better choices
Today, the state of Indiana submitted its proposal for the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If approved, the Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 would replace traditional Medicaid for low-income, able-bodied Hoosier adults. Unlike traditional Medicaid, which is government-driven, HIP 2.0 is consumer-driven.
Editorial: Texting law serves safety
July 1 each year marks the day in Indiana when new laws take effect. But rather than focus on new laws today, let’s observe the anniversary of a law that went on the books three years ago this month — the law that barred texting while driving.
- Readers’ Forum: July 2, 2014
RONN MOTT: Cats
Looking at the situation as a whole, the adopted cats, plus one, seem to be doing OK. The boys, Magic and Mellow, like to roam occasionally, which causes some consternation when they are gone for a long time.
LIZ CIANCONE: Oldtime fans will never give up on the Cubbies
My Best Friend claims to be the world’s oldest living Cubs fan. I am willing to take him at his word, but surely there is some long-lived fan out there in the right field bleachers who would dispute his claim.
Readers’ Forum: July 1, 2014
• Defying the laws of God
• Correcting the written record
• Hands of $$ from Redevelopment
• Celebrity visit for celebration
Flashpoint: New Healthy Indiana Plan our best option
Some state-run health care exchanges — the brainchild of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — have gotten off to a rocky start, to the point that they are turning to the federal government to pick up the pieces. Indiana’s decision to try to expand the already-existing Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) in lieu of an exchange seems a more prudent choice every day.
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- RONN MOTT: Troubled history in that place called Iraq