Problem Gambling Awareness Week - WHAT A JOKE

Bill Kearney's picture

Pennsylvania State Highlights Education, Treatment Services During 'Problem Gambling Awareness Week'

Fri Feb 27, 11:00 am ET

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The state departments of Health, Agriculture and Revenue --along with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board -- will highlight National Problem Gambling Awareness Week, March 1 - 7, by reminding citizens that counseling and treatment services are available to those affected by a gambling addiction.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20090227/pl_usnw/pennsylvania_state_highlights_education__treatment_services_during__problem_gambling_awareness_week

For over twenty years I've been addressing and proving that there are major flaws in gaming laws throughout our country. In other words, there are no safeguards or provisions in place that will protect today's casino gamblers and future casino gamblers from becoming what I once was. Casinos are operating like amusement parks with no safety belts or cages on their ride. There is absolutely no consumer protection.

Now it's true that our Gaming Laws address the compulsive casino gambling problem with things like a 1-800 GAMBLER get help number, and a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week hotline that provides crisis counseling. There's also a self-exclusion list for those who become addicted to the casino product. That in itself should raise a red flag to question how safe is this entertainment venue to have such a provision. What other industry or product do you know of that has a Self Exclusion Program? But all of these provisions address the obsessive gambling problem after one becomes a casino gambling junkie. So my suggestion to our legislators, and the members of our Gaming Control Board, is let’s not wait for the casino casualties to come home. Let’s make our billion dollar gaming operators adapt to real safeguards.

Here’s what I’m trying to accomplish, tell me what you think?

No cashing checks in the casinos.

(Pa. casinos are allowed to cash personal checks up to $2,500 in a 24-hour period, the most a check can be written for is $499.00, but the casino will cash 5 checks at one time. And here’s the kicker, the casinos are not cashing these checks themselves; they are using a third party, what is known as a secure check cashing company. These companies guarantee the casino operator the money even if the check goes bad. The secure check company only checks the history and activity of the checking account; they are not allowed to check the balance of the checking account. So if a casino patron has a good history and activity but only has a $500.00 balance they will still be approved for the $2,500. Now let’s say they are in the casino and they blow their $500.00 balance, but in their mind the slot machine they have been feeding with all its close hits and near misses is ready to blow. So they go back to the cashier in hope to cash another check and they are approved. This goes on until they reach the $2500.00 limit and now they have cut close to $2000.00 in bad checks. Now I’m not saying the casino patron is not at fault, but what I am saying is, why make it easy for casino patrons not only get it debt but also become criminals)

No credit card usage on or around the casino floor.

(Pa. casinos by law are not aloud to issue any form of credit, yet at the ATM machines on the casino floor a casino patron can get cash advancements from their credit card company. Now if the casino operator is receiving money whether it is from a percentage of every transaction or a rental fee for having the ATM machines, wouldn’t that make the casino operator part of that LOAN transaction? This would also apply to the secure check cashing companies if they’re kicking back to the casino operator)

No free booze.

(I'm sure there's a few of us who after a few to many have done something stupid, so why are we letting the casino operators medicate those who are already doing something stupid. Not to mention making it an even playing field for those merchants that have liquor licenses and are now unarmed when competing against the casinos serving free booze)

No 24/7 gambling.

(When Atlantic City’s gambling bill passed, the framers of the States Casino Control Act believed that it was necessary to permit compulsive gamblers time to step back from the tables. So they opened their doors at 10 A.M. and closed them at 4 A.M on weekdays … and 6 A.M. on weekends and holidays. At that time they wanted to avoid, the wide-open atmosphere of Las Vegas, where continuous gambling is permitted. They said that they were worried about the potential, harmful impact on compulsive gamblers, and the possibility that Atlantic City would never become a family type resort that its leaders and the voters envisioned in 1976. The opposition back then, argued that 24-hour gambling had to be permitted, if the city was to become a full-fledged vacation resort, instead of the destination for Day-Trippers. Well as you know, today the casinos in Atlantic City are open 24/7. They still have the Day-Trippers and are far from being a full-fledged vacation resort. So my question is, here in our state and our cities where it won't be Day-Trippers but minutes and hour Trippers do we really need these joints open 24/7. Have you been in a casino on a week day during those early morning hours, that's when I like to see our casino operators take our government officials on a tour through the casinos so they could witness pathological casino gambling in full bloom)

How’s this for ‘AWARENESS’

(Our casino operators are tracking their patrons’ money and time spent gambling with COMP-CARDS, let's make them send monthly statements. These cards track every move the patron makes in the casino. This is how the casino operators determine whether you're going to get the buffet or the penthouse suite. The COMP-CARD is their syringe; it's how they deliver their drug. The comps or so-called freebies make some justify their losses as they become addicted. The purpose of the monthly statement is to enable gamblers and their family members to address a gambling problem before one becomes addicted)

My safeguard for mailing monthly statements has been put forth twice in our House of Representatives by Rep. Paul Clymer and twice in our Senate by Sen. Robert Wonderling. This legislation will be put forth again this year, it’s also been put forth in West Virginia and I'm working with legislators in Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, and other casino states.

Open these links and observe what the proponents for casino gambling in our state think about casino monthly statements.

http://blip.tv/file/708064/

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v14212064NrPDa82s

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15880323nJEZyXTW

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=4168946

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=4169169

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15819801gWJezg8N

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15820114RfsWZY9d

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15824768cb4YZHY4

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15820517HEptydtb

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v15824420SSP8ny4d

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=4163619

http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=4185500

prognosis negative's picture

I think that the real joke

I think that the real joke is that you want legitimate businesses to make their business less profitable. WIth about 2 % of the population of the United States having a problem with gambling, it is unfair to punish people who use casinos for fun. The comp cards are a good idea but why should I have to pay for a drink or have to leave a casino just because someone else is not responsible enough to leave? the chances of any of us being effected by problem gamblers is so small. You are talking 2% of the population. And that is all over the United States!! It has been shown in studies that those with problems gambling have a past history of depression or some other mental malady. This means that some other trigger would have caused them to have problems. Instead of getting help for their past problems, they are gambling to feel good and thats what turns them into having a problem. You stated that most are not acceptable of gambling being an addiction. That is because there is no evidence to prove that it is.

The problem is, you are fighting a losing battle. You will NEVER get the casinos or the city to adopt what you are suggesting. It would be so much better if you focused your energy on something else. Cops are being murdered, citizens are being murdered, the economy is in a downward spiral and you are spending your time on something that will never be changed. NEVER. I hate to break it to you. You should really try to do some good in some other capacity.

dan's picture

Despite disagreeing with

Despite disagreeing with you, I have to say that someone totally convinced there is no sense in fighting predatory gambling couldn't pick a better name than "Prognosis Negative".

netable's picture

The more I read Bill's

The more I read Bill's fight, cause, etc. I see his pain, and frustration.

I am not looking forward to having a Casino a block away from my house' just not looking forward to the traffic, the crime, the changing of the waterfront' I kinda like the waterfront the way it is' yes, I know it is deserted and some buildings are decaying' but thats the charm of it' I can easily picture the state it was in 100 years ago, and now with Ken Milano's book, I can picture it even better, =)

I don't Gamble though, never have, I always needed to "See" something in my hand for the money that I spent, now if they put a little Shopping haven, with Luie V, and Coach Outlet and a Sephora' I will be in lotssssss of trouble =),

I understand about the Comps' too. It is like a syringe, with the drug in it' I get those "syringes" all the time from Express, Victoria Secret, even Linen In Things when they were in business. I will come home' and get the mail and have something from Express or Vicki's a Gift Card, with $100.00 saying that because I am such a valued Customer they are rewarding me with a $100 gift card' and even though I know they are the "Devil", I still take that gift card and go to Vicki's and purchase like 10 Bra's at $50 a pop, so because of their wonderful generousity of $100, I am now in debt for another $400. But, unlike the Casino, walking away with nothing to show for it, I do have 10 new comfy bra's

Bill, I think you need to do this for you, and others that have a problem,

It just makes me sad' because I feel like the Casino's still have such a hold on you, and keeps you from enjoying life.

Good luck, with this,

th's picture

prognosis negative

prognosis negative wrote:

The problem is, you are fighting a losing battle. You will NEVER get the casinos or the city to adopt what you are suggesting. It would be so much better if you focused your energy on something else ... you are spending your time on something that will never be changed. NEVER. I hate to break it to you. You should really try to do some good in some other capacity.

My parents were very involved in the NO NUKES campaigns of the late 70's early 80's.
People told them the same thing all the time. My dad told me those people were right to a degree, but they missed the bigger picture.

My dad's goal as an activist was not to shut down nuclear reactors (that would NEVER happen). He said the goal was to agitate long enough and make building new reactors a big enough pain in the a$$ that eventually nuclear producers would have to negotiate. That is what happened and today we have a much safer nuclear industry with far fewer reactors than we would have had otherwise.

My parents did not necessarily agree completely with the radicals of the movement, but they thought they were necessary and they fully supported their actions with their time and money. I see Bill as one of those radicals. I generally agree with his point of view, but I am not nearly as passionate as he, or as hard-lined. But, we need his passion and that of others like him to force the casinos and their backers in the state and local gov. to the table. That has happened and is continuing. (Making it by definition a WINNING cause, by the way)

My hope is that if the casinos are built (NOT a given at this time) they will be forced to make huge concessions at a huge cost to them, and a reduced cost and risk to us. Hopefully, other casinos will see that cost and not even think of asking to open a new one.

That Bill and others like him may not eventually achieve every one of their goals does not make them any less of a hero.

prognosis negative's picture

th wrote:prognosis negative

th wrote:
prognosis negative wrote:

The problem is, you are fighting a losing battle. You will NEVER get the casinos or the city to adopt what you are suggesting. It would be so much better if you focused your energy on something else ... you are spending your time on something that will never be changed. NEVER. I hate to break it to you. You should really try to do some good in some other capacity.

My parents were very involved in the NO NUKES campaigns of the late 70's early 80's.
People told them the same thing all the time. My dad told me those people were right to a degree, but they missed the bigger picture.

My dad's goal as an activist was not to shut down nuclear reactors (that would NEVER happen). He said the goal was to agitate long enough and make building new reactors a big enough pain in the a$$ that eventually nuclear producers would have to negotiate. That is what happened and today we have a much safer nuclear industry with far fewer reactors than we would have had otherwise.

My parents did not necessarily agree completely with the radicals of the movement, but they thought they were necessary and they fully supported their actions with their time and money. I see Bill as one of those radicals. I generally agree with his point of view, but I am not nearly as passionate as he, or as hard-lined. But, we need his passion and that of others like him to force the casinos and their backers in the state and local gov. to the table. That has happened and is continuing. (Making it by definition a WINNING cause, by the way)

My hope is that if the casinos are built (NOT a given at this time) they will be forced to make huge concessions at a huge cost to them, and a reduced cost and risk to us. Hopefully, other casinos will see that cost and not even think of asking to open a new one.

That Bill and others like him may not eventually achieve every one of their goals does not make them any less of a hero.

Not ONE of the restrictions that bill is requesting is being considered. The casinos may not get built. Anything can happen. As I drove on Delaware Ave the other day, there is a lot of heavy equipment and soil being moved on the site, I guess they are doing something.
But again, not ONE of this things he is proposing is being considered. His biggest gripes are
a. no free alcohol
b. no 24/7
c. no comp cards.

They are all a staple of the casino industry and will never change. No business is going to take away the things that draw their customers to their business. It would be like telling Mcdonalds, no more Big Macs, no more Fries and no more Milkshakes. Now I know Mcdonalds is no comparison to the casino, although there are people who are addicted to Mcyds, But you cannot tell a business to take away the one thing that insures repeat customers.

th's picture

prognosis negative wrote: No

prognosis negative wrote:

No business is going to take away the things that draw their customers to their business.

You're right, it would be like the cigarette makers taking nicotine and all the other addictive chemical additives out of their products. Not going to happen. I get it. BUT, through long diligent activism by highly motivated individuals (often called all kinds of names and told they were losers), the makers of cigarettes have been forced to make all kinds of other concessions to society.

The radicals whose goal was to make cigarettes completely illegal lost - technically. But the rest of us won based on their passion & effort.

All that said ... it seems that your posts on this subject are highly personal, especially regarding Bill. I am sure there is much more going on here than I am aware of. I have probably naively wandered into the middle of some ongoing personal war, but, Oh-well... what are ya gonna do?

prognosis negative's picture

No war that I am aware of.

No war that I am aware of. I just dont agree with his misguided attention. If it was him or anyone else, I feel the same way. Its like someone stepping over a homeless person to spit on someone wearing fur.
I would imagine that most of the anti casino people have never stepped into a sober house or battered womens shelter. These are real problems that affect soooooo many more people than gambling. I guess he feels different cause he was affected by this. But again, the science on gambling problems is not that strong to suggest it is a disease but rather people who have existing mental problems. We should in turn focus on treating mental illness better than on treating the results of that mental illness.

dan's picture

prognosis negative wrote:I

prognosis negative wrote:

I would imagine that most of the anti casino people have never stepped into a sober house or battered womens shelter.

Yet another thing that anti-casino people have in common with pro-casino people...
and completely irrelevant.

prognosis negative's picture

Its not irrelevant. Those

Its not irrelevant. Those are problems that are much more prevalent than problem gambling and can be stopped. Drugs and alcohol present a greater danger than gambling and yet most of us turn our backs on these problems.
It seems like most people dont want to get involved in something that they have to get their hands dirty in. The casinos are like the imaginary big bad wolf and people can scream and moan about them coming and they dont really have to get involved in anything. But ask those same people to volunteer their time at a battered women's shelter or animal shelter and they will be harder to find than a needle in a haystack.

Bill Kearney's picture

Okay Prognosis, we get it,

Okay Prognosis, we get it, and always have. Drugs, alcohol, women, and animal abuse are a ‘BITCH’ and those who are out there volunteering their time and services are a God-Sent. But let’s not downgrade the efforts of those who are out there addressing other ‘VICES’ and ‘ABUSES’, especially the ones that our pillars of society brought upon us. And here’s how dirty I’ve gotten when addressing on a daily basis your 'Big Bad Wolf' theory. My life and my family’s lives have been threatened. I’ve given and taken a few lumps, been in and out of court with frivolous casino law suits. I’ve got the IRS, unions and mobsters up my keister. I’ve lost a few careers and friends along the way, but through it all I’ve never back down nor have I conceded to anyone’s threats or accusations. They’re many people not just in our city and state but throughout the country that would like see me go away, but I’ve made it clear to all, I ain’t going anywhere until I find that needle in this haystack.

prognosis negative's picture

the problem is I dont think

the problem is I dont think you will ever be satisfied. Lets just say, for the sake of arguement that the casinos agree to all of your suggestions. Then what? Will you be satisfied? Would you walk away and get on with your life? I get the feeling that you would never be satisfied and that you would just find something else to complain about. You probably feel that the casinos ruined your life and that they need to pay for that. But it was you who ruined your life with gambling. Did they have things in place to entice you back? Sure. So do the cigarette companies and Mcdonalds and every other "controlled" addicted substance. Mcdonalds gives away toys that keep kids coming back. They then made those toys collectors items so that adults would come in for them. Marlboro still has the Marlboro miles that allows smokers to collect points for goods. Coca cola, which has an addictive substance known as caffeine in its product now does the same thing.

It would be so much better if those who had a gambling problem realized that the big bad wolf is not to blame but rather looked in the mirror and said "I am to blame" no one else. I gambled my life away. I was not "forced" with the promise of free food or tickets to some crappy show. WHen that happens we will all be better off.

dan's picture

prognosis negative wrote:It

prognosis negative wrote:

It would be so much better if those who had a gambling problem realized that the big bad wolf is not to blame but rather looked in the mirror and said "I am to blame" no one else. I gambled my life away. I was not "forced" with the promise of free food or tickets to some crappy show. WHen that happens we will all be better off.

This is true. (Well, except for the "no one else". Others share in the blame.)

However, it's most certainly does not mean that anyone should give up fighting.

Yes, we'd all be better off if johns realized they are sex addicts and took personal responsibility for their problems. Does that mean you want all the prostitutes from Kensington Avenue shipped over to stand on your corner, and have all their customers cruising by your house? You want everybody having sex in cars in front of your kids and used condoms on your doorstep?

Yes, we'd all be better off if heroin addicts took responsibility and never shot up in the first place, or got treatment and stayed off the drugs. Does that mean you want all the dealers and junkies over on your street? You want all the needles in the park by your yard? You want drugs sold to your kids? You want your car window smashed for the $2.50 in change you left in the drink holder?

Of course both being a john and being a heroin addict is largely the responsibility of the "victim". However, other people participate in the crime, and it most certainly hurts not only the willing victim, but lots of other people and the quality of live in general. That's what a casino does.

Yes, we'd all be better off if gambling addicts took greater responsibility for their lives. However, do you want cars in your neighborhood being broken into for something to sell for bus fare home? Do you want the business you own or the business you work for to close down either because the casino took all the customers or because the bookkeeper embezzled all the money to support his gambling habit? Do you want your kids getting beaten up because they owe money to loan sharks due to their gambling addiction? Do you want your already over-stretched police to have to deal with increased crime?

prognosis negative's picture

Sex addiction and heroin

Sex addiction and heroin addiction have been proven to be a disease. Gambling problems have not.
Most business owners have a better chance of their business being struck by lightning or being burned down than they do of a person with a gambling problem embezzling from them. More kids have a bigger chance of getting into a bus accident or being shot by another student or simply being beat up by a bully than they do of getting a gambling problem. You take all of the problems and just assume that these will be the norm in all of our lives with all the statistics show that it will not be the case. Is there a CHANCE that some of these might happen. Well yes, but there is also a CHANCE that you will get hit by a bus, get struck by lighting and get eaten by a shark all in one day. Is it LIKELY, no.

dan's picture

There's a chance a casino

There's a chance a casino would be a good addition to our neighborhood.

There's also a chance that at 2:14pm today President Obama is going to stand naked on your doorstep and whistle Beethoven's Third Symphony while juggling two meerkats and a limousine while the national touring cast of Annie throws bricks of solid gold at him.

Those who understand statistics, human nature, or both will realize the second scenario has a vastly higher probability.

codergrrl's picture

Hey Dan, I'll bet ya two

Hey Dan, I'll bet ya two bucks that won't happen!

prognosis negative's picture

I never once said that they

I never once said that they would be a good addition. At least I dont think I did. If I did, I take it back. Im more neutral. I said that instead of focusing on something minor or something that doesnt effect a lot of people, turn you emotions on to something that can help the community.

prognosis negative's picture

dan wrote:There's a chance a

dan wrote:

There's a chance a casino would be a good addition to our neighborhood.

There's also a chance that at 2:14pm today President Obama is going to stand naked on your doorstep and whistle Beethoven's Third Symphony while juggling two meerkats and a limousine while the national touring cast of Annie throws bricks of solid gold at him.

Those who understand statistics, human nature, or both will realize the second scenario has a vastly higher probability.

Actually, there is NO chance of that happening. Here is the President's schedule for today. There is no way that he can be on my doorstep at 2:14.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, March 3, 2009. Meets with British PM Gordon Brown
By Lynn Sweeton March 3, 2009 7:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2009

DAILY GUIDANCE AND PRESS SCHEDULE FOR

TUESDAY, MARCH 3, 2009

Tomorrow morning, President Obama will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

The President will travel to the Department of Transportation to deliver remarks about how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will significantly invest in transportation infrastructure and create jobs. Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood will also attend. This event will be pooled press.

The President will meet with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the Oval Office to discuss the global economic crisis in advance of the London Economic Summit in April. There will be a pool spray of the meeting. Following the meeting, they will have a working lunch in the Old Family Dining Room.

The President will then travel to the Department of Interior to deliver remarks to commemorate its 160th anniversary. Secretary Salazar will also attend. This event will be pooled press.

In the afternoon, the President will meet with a delegation from the Boy Scouts of America and receive their 2008 Report to the Nation in the Oval Office. This is closed press.

Later, the President and the Vice President will meet with Defense Secretary Gates in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

Once again the anti casino people on here take an extreme and make it seem like a possibility.

dan's picture

prognosis negative

prognosis negative wrote:

Actually, there is NO chance of that happening. Here is the President's schedule for today. There is no way that he can be on my doorstep at 2:14.

When I made the post, it was still a possibility.
The president doesn't always follow his schedule, and there is very fast transport available.

However, given that 2:14 has now passed, there is ZERO chance of it happening.
So now it is no longer more probable, merely equally probable.

th's picture

prognosis negative wrote:I

prognosis negative wrote:

I never once said that they would be a good addition. At least I dont think I did. If I did, I take it back. Im more neutral. I said that instead of focusing on something minor or something that doesnt effect a lot of people, turn you emotions on to something that can help the community.

Ok. IF your neutral, AND you got no personal beef ...
You are sure spending a lot of negative energy on something you don't care much about.

You have your passions, I have mine, Bill has his. Dude, calm down.

Bill Kearney's picture

I have a question for you

I have a question for you Prognosis, just for the sake of curiosity. Why is it, people like yourself, when addressing my cause, always attack me personally?

prognosis negative's picture

I dont know why you think I

I dont know why you think I am attacking you but I think that if you are attacking the politicians then you leave yourself open for attack as well.

dan's picture

I think this has become yet

I think this has become yet another thread rendered pointless yet negative by discussing the people instead of the topic.

So, it's locked.