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Attention May Increase Traffic on Problem Gambling Hotline

8 March 2005

Las Vegas Sun

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana.-- Officials with a national problem-gambler's hotline based in Shreveport are preparing for an increase in calls this week resulting from publicity about National Problem Gambling Awareness Week. A small percentage of people who gamble develop serious problems, but more people across the country are being exposed to some kind of wagering, said Colleen Leonard, program director of the Louisiana Problem Gamblers Help Line. Not only have casinos sprung up across the country in recent years, but people even hours away from legalized gambling can see poker tournaments on several networks. "We're headed toward a huge train wreck nationally because there are all these people saying, 'Uh-oh, this is a big problem,' " she said. "A lot of states don't have councils on problem gambling, and some state agencies don't even treat gambling."

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