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Addiction Agency Plans for South Carolina Lottery

9 December 2001

SOUTH CAROLINA -- Dec. 9, 2001 -- As reported by The (South Carolina) State: ``The S.C. lottery isn't the only agency preparing for the Jan. 7 launch of the games.

``The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services will also have a role dealing with the darker side of legalized gambling.

``Legislation creating the lottery gave the department responsibility for creating and operating a gambling addiction program in conjunction with the lottery.

``There's just one problem: The legislation didn't provide any money for the program. Another bill that would make the state's gambling addiction program one of the best-funded in the state didn't pass.

``None of that has deterred the agency from preparing itself.

``Counselors trained in alcohol and drug addiction services are getting new instruction in dealing with problem gamblers. Many of the agency's counselors, who work in 34 centers across the state, are already qualified, having dealt with the effects of video poker before it was banned

``...The agency will create a toll-free telephone number for gambling addiction questions and services, and will use its existing network of service centers to deal with gambling addicts.

``...Money for the agency's new program is tantalizingly close. Lottery legislation calls for the agency to receive unclaimed prize money from the lottery, but it doesn't say how much..."

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