Friday, April 8, 2011

Efforts Renewed to Force Casinos to Issue Statements

If a Pennsylvania lawmaker has his way, everyone in the state holding a preferred player card from a Pennsylvania casino will soon get a monthly statement of his or her winnings and losses. The measure sponsored by Representative Paul Clymer of Bucks County passed out of committee this week on a 14-11 vote. The measure has always been ignored in the past and the idea was debated but left out of the original slot machine guidelines.

Clymer says this is a mater of alerting families to a family member’s addiction. “Let them know that there is a loved one within the household who is exceeding their gambling limits,” says Clymer. He says often wives or husbands have no idea what is going on until they find out that their finances are in shambles. “The addicted gambler is a little bit different than someone who is on alcohol or on drugs, there is not that difference in their physical or emotional makeup.” He says at times the gambler might not even know what they are doing. “They are not thinking clearly…. when they have the gambling fever.”

Clymer says the casinos are already gathering the information on the players so it should not pose much of an administrative burden and they are already sending out promotional mailings to their preferred customers so they can keep mailing costs down by including the statements in those same envelopes.

Clymer says he understands why the casinos might be against his bill but he is looking forward to having an open debate.

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