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Arizona Makes Problem Gamblers a Priority

11 March 2003

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Central: "Arizona's nearly $1.6 billion gambling industry has a dark side of people who bet too much at the casino, track or lottery outlet, but their lives need not crap out with their luck.

"Politicians joined casino and treatment officials Monday to relay hope and help for problem gamblers during a press conference dovetailing with National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

"…The extent of problem gambling in Arizona should become clearer this month with results from a $140,000 study estimating the malady's magnitude.

"…`We're certainly seeing a huge influx of problem gamblers,'said Katherine Wilson, clinical director of Arizona WinWay Center for Gambling Recovery, who estimated 1 to 2 percent of Arizonans are gambling addicts.

"Proposition 202 gambling revenues will supplement what she and others call a serious lack of treatment money.

"… Don Hulen, executive director of the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, lauded Indian casino donations to his organization - including $100,000 a year from the Tohono O'odham Nation and $50,000 annually from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, more than half his $220,000 budget.

"Hulen also encouraged lawmakers to protect the lottery's $500,000 annual allocation to problem gambling education and treatment.

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