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State could do more to help fight addiction | News, Sports, Jobs

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Gambling allows state legislators to earn income indirectly. By taxing the gambling business, politicians are one step away from the people who truly pay taxes: the money-losing gamblers.

Legislators originally approved a limited number of casinos for two reasons: to capture a portion of the gambling money Pennsylvanians spent in Atlantic City and to save the state’s horse racing industry.

For nearly two decades, however, legislators have eagerly endorsed a significant expansion into more full-service “satellite casinos, online, non-casino venues, sports” in addition to state lotteries. The gamble brought the state government more than $2 billion in the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which ended June 30. The latest debate concerns the question of whether governments should allow sufficient gambling at petrol stations.

In the midst of the frenzy, Capitol dealers need to stop and consider 37-year-old Joseph J. MacDonald of Carbondale. The former city councilman was indicted on Tuesday for stealing more than $163,000 worth of state lottery tickets from the store where he worked. .

When legalized gambling took off, proponents argued that their goal was not to create new customers, but to acquire customers who were already gambling in New Jersey. It was a fake business plan, but the real business plan allowed Pennsylvanians to gamble at casinos, online, convenience stores, airports, and more.

Throughout its evolution, state governments have paid little attention to the social dysfunction and gambling addiction that accompany the Territory.

Gambling addiction is, in some ways, worse than substance abuse. Alcohol and other drug addicts don’t think the problem itself is the solution, but gambling addicts often believe that one big score can solve their problem.

In northeastern Pennsylvania alone, dozens of people have been charged with stealing to pay gambling debts from family members, employers and civic groups. Statewide, tolls run into the thousands.

The next state legislative hearing on gambling should be about addiction, not escalation. Legislators are determined to dedicate far more resources to preventing and treating it and helping families, jobs, reputations and, in many cases, those who need to quit to save their lives. need to do it.

— Wilkes-Barre Citizen Voice

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