To the Editor:
Highly heralded video gambling machines recently arrived in Highland.
The town of Sweitzerfest, Kirchenfest, free summer concerts, Peanut Butter and Jam Festival, and the Farmer’s Market added gambling to its family friendly activity lineup.
The following information from the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) might prove useful to voters and to the city council: A 2002 Rhode Island Gambling Treatment Program research paper calls video slots “the most addictive form of gambling in history.”
Two out of three addicted gamblers said that video machines caused their gambling problems. Researcher Dr. Bob Green, found “the men and women who ‘got hooked’ on video gambling became compulsive gamblers in about one year.”
Robert Hunter, head of the gambling treatment program at Charter Hospital in Las Vegas, stated that video poker players comprise more than two-thirds of his clientele.
A study, published in 2003 examining Southern Nevada Gamblers Anonymous members, found a strong correlation between video gaming machines and addiction: “Without doubt, video poker machines were the game of choice for the G.A. members. Over two-thirds found the machines to constitute ‘serious’ problems for them,” the study states.
Highland gets 5 percent of the take for the misery associated with gambling machines while 30 percent goes to the Illinois legislature to waste.
Vote No in Highland’s non binding referendum on April 9. Addiction leaves bankruptcy, crime, and family problems in its wake. If you want to learn more about the problems associated with video gaming contact Illinois Family Institute atContactUs@illinoisfamily.org.
Philip W. Chapman