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Iowa Residents Helping Gambling Thrive By Participating

Iowa has become over the past decade one of the premiere casino gambling markets in the US. Lawmakers have, on several occasions, expanded the industry, much to the chagrin of Iowans. A recent survey shows just how much Iowa residents appreciate the gaming outlets.

The report indicates that 91% of Iowans admitted to gambling over the past year. That figure is well above the national average of 80%. The ability to play blackjack, the lottery and slot machines has given expanded option to Iowans, and they have responded by spending millions of dollars. The tax revenue being derived from the gaming is helping the state through one of the worst recessions in the history of the US.

Although over ninety percent of Iowa residents admitted to gambling, the problem gambling figure was one percent. That leaves ninety percent of gamblers doing so recreationally, and for entertainment purposes. That is good news for those who are fearful that gambling can be a hindrance on a society.

"The Iowa figures show that not all forms of gambling are evil and dangerous," said Brian Shaw, an Iowa resident who has played in several of the Iowa casinos on a weekly basis. "If the state regulates the industry, there is no reason why gambling cannot be enjoyed without having to deal with addiction. It's all in the way the state monitors the gambling."

Other states have seen the model to keep problem gambling low, and they are moving to ensure that as they expand, they also regulate the industry. Maryland is one of the up and coming states within the casino industry, but they are being applauded in their dedication to keep gambling addiction to a minimum. The same can be said for Maine, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

The Public Health Department's Office of Gambling Treatment and Prevention manager Mark Vander Linden, is excited about the one percent figure of pathological gamblers in Iowa, but understands that there is s till work to be done to ensure that problem gambling does not grow.

"They haven't met that threshold for pathological gambling, but they do have some type of symptom that would indicate they are at risk."

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