Sitting in the state House of Representatives' Gaming Oversight Committee is a bill titled “Casino Monthly Statements.” This is the only legislation since our gaming law passed in 2004 addressing compulsive casino gambling before someone has the problem.
The bill, proposed by Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks County, would require casinos to mail to gamblers a monthly statement detailing how much they won and lost. Gamblers should know how much they win or lose so they can better control their spending.
This bill has died four times. Powerful senators whose districts get a $10 million annual “hosting fee” do everything in their power to stop it from becoming the law.
The main argument against the bill is the mailing cost of monthly statements. So Clymer amended the bill to limit the mailing to only those patrons whose winnings and losses are $500 or more. I can't imagine anyone not wanting a loved one who is losing $500 or more a month to not receive a statement. Who knows how many Pennsylvanians' lives would be better if they knew this information?
We need to stop our casinos from breeding compulsive gambling degenerates. We need to call our legislators and tell them to support HB-1335, the casino monthly statements bill.
The writer is a former gambling addict who is seeking reforms in Pennsylvania casino system.
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