Chasing it

There are many more than seven sites vying for the right to set up shop. Around here, the Nevele is under contract for sale — if it can get a casino. The old Friar Tuck, up in Catskill, finally went under after 25 futile years of waiting for the right to operate gaming. Sullivan County trembles again, like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the football that Lucy holds in place, with a smirk on her face.

What happened in the past is that each of the aspirants for a casino was so afraid of someone else getting it that they engaged in highly funded negative campaigning toward their adversaries. Consequently, in the end, no one got it. Too much cash at stake to let the other guy get it. Better to live to fight another day when maybe the other guy could be outspent. Slash and burn.

 

Myths and facts of gambling addiction

But this is a column about community health. And make no mistake, there are health repercussions to excessive gambling that could be exacerbated if gambling is legalized (more so than it already is) in New York State. It’s called addiction, and it is real. It doesn’t hit everyone who chooses to gamble, just those so inclined. And it’s easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re not so inclined, though you may be.

Here’s some stuff about the myths and facts about gambling addiction and problem gambling:

Myth: You have to gamble evry day to be a problem gambler.

Fact: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. Gambling is a problem if it causes problems.

Myth: Problem gambling is not really a problem if the gambler can afford it.

Fact: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. Too much time spent on gambling can lead to relationship breakdown and loss of important friendships.

Myth: Partners of problem gamblers often drive problem gamblers to gamble.

Fact: Problem gamblers often rationalize their behavior. Blaming others is one way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, including what is needed to overcome the problem.

Myth: If a problem gambler builds up a debt, you should help them take care of it.

Fact: Quick-fix solutions may appear to be the right thing to do. However, bailing the gambler out of debt may actually make matters worse by enabling gambling problems to continue.

 

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