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New Connecticut Gambling Impact Study Proposed

12 February 2004

HARTFORT, Connecticut – As reported by the Connecticut Day: "The stories and statistics have stacked up for seven years as Connecticut balanced its budget with billions of dollars from two American Indian casinos and the state lottery while putting off a gambling impact study.

"…State Rep. Andrea L. Stillman, D-Waterford, and the Connecticut Prevention Network sponsored the Problem Gambling Awareness Day at the Capitol Wednesday. Stillman is proposing an allocation of $500,000 for a gambling impact study in 2005; the last study was conducted in 1996.

"…The Bureau of Indian Affairs' recognition of the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation has renewed the festering topic of gambling expansion in Connecticut and reminded lawmakers that there is potential for additional Indian casinos here.

"…Stillman said the rate of compulsive gamblers tends to double within 50 miles of a casino. Christopher Armentano, director of the state's problem-gambling program, estimated about 1 percent of Connecticut residents are pathological gamblers. He said past studies indicated about 6 percent of the state's population would meet the criteria for problem or pathological gambling over the course of their lives.

"The experts added other alarming figures to the record Wednesday, estimating that Connecticut residents lose $1 billion a year at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun while the state only spends 44 cents per person on gambling treatment programs…"

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