FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Monday, February 26, 2018
Contact: Lorri Pickens firstname.lastname@example.org, / 920-358-7980
Appleton, WI— March is Problem Gambling Awareness month and Citizens Against Expanding Gambling is redoubling its efforts to educate the public, elected officials and other opinion leaders about the dangers associated with problem gambling. The Wisconsin Council of Problem Gamblers estimates that more than 300,000 Wisconsin residents are problem gamblers with an average debt of $38,090. Calls to the 24-hour hotline have increased by 281% since the introduction of the state lottery and Indian Casino gaming.
Founded in 2015, Citizens Against Expanding Gambling (CAEG) is the only organization exclusively dedicated to lobbying against the expansion of gambling in Wisconsin. CAEG has held 33 events around the state to inform and engage more than 2,000 citizens about problem gambling. In addition, CAEG has sponsored 2 statewide tele-townhalls with over 1,800 participants. CAEG activists helped stop the legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports in 2016 and 2017.
“There are a number of well-financed special interests who want to expand gambling in Wisconsin,” said Lorri Pickens, executive director of CAEG. “There are currently two proposed casinos seeking approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, despite the fact that no person has more than a 2- hour drive to the nearest casino. The Governor has the final say on casino expansion in the state. Efforts to legalize Daily Fantasy Sports continue in the legislature and if passed, will represent the largest expansion of gambling in state history.
In addition to the obvious economic impact on families and communities, studies indicate that localized increases in problem gambling lead to increased crime. In addition, research shows that the highest per capita lottery sales are within zips codes where people live who can least afford to buy them.
Gambling is a zero-sum game. It creates no new wealth. Its business model depends on players playing to extinction. Worse yet, the state is a complicit business partner in the industry. In order for the government to win, its citizens must lose.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month is designed to help raise awareness of the prevention, treatment and recovery services available for those adversely affected by gambling. The grassroots campaign brings together a wide range of stakeholders – public health organizations, advocacy groups and gambling operators, state legislators and the governor. CAEG will continue to host events throughout the state and to connect citizens with their elected officials.
Image Credit: National Council on Problem Gambling
March 1, 6-8 pm at Schwefels in Oconomowoc
March 8, 6-8 pm at Pizza Ranch in Portage
March 22, 6-8 pm at Pizza Ranch in Wausau
For more information, contact Lorri Pickens 920-358-7980