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Washington Tribe Helps Problem Gamblers

28 July 2004

WASHINGTON – As reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Since June 2003, Washington has done nothing to treat the problem gamblers it has partly created by sanctioning the rise of legalized gambling.

"…Eastern Washington's Kalispel Tribe has operated the Northern Quest casino in the Spokane suburb of Airway Heights since 2000.

"The tribe decided, even before a short-lived, state-funded treatment program ended, that it needed to assist the gamblers in its casino who had developed problems.

"In 2002, the tribe hired social worker Ricki Haugen as the behavioral health director for its Camas Institute, a facility opened to aid tribe members and other community residents with addiction and mental illness treatment.

"Haugen's mission: to develop an outpatient program to treat problem and pathological gamblers.

"…The patient does not have to be a tribe member to receive the service, unlike the programs some other tribes operate…"

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