Experts say problem gambling on the rise

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) - As the number of casinos in Oklahoma has
increased, experts say the number of pathological or problem
gambler also is on the rise.

Wiley Hawell is the executive director of the Norman-based
Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling.

He says problem gambling can begin with meager winnings, and
pathological gamblers rarely convert winnings into spending money,
but instead use it to fuel their gambling habit.

In addition to working with problem gamblers, Hawell says the
association also works with casinos in the state, most of which are
in the in the business of helping problem gamblers.

The association has brochures in most of the 96 casinos in the
state.

Hawell says problem gamblers have one of the highest rates of
suicide in the nation, and a divorce rate 50 percent higher than
the general public.


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