Indiana has seen only a slight increase in problem gambling over the past several months since the French Lick Springs Resort Casino opened.
Not willing to cite numbers or percentages, Southern Hills Counseling Center gambling addictions counselor Brandy Terrell said that people seeking help in this area has increased only slightly.
“However with gambling addictions, it generally takes time to show up as a gambling addiction,” said Terrell. “Generally the addiction may show up in legal proceedings such as check deception, bankruptcy, and things of that nature.”
Orange Circuit Court Judge Larry Blanton said, though, that he has not “been able to notice any appreciable increase in any of that. In circuit court, we’ve noticed no increase. We know it’s probably coming, but it may be too soon to tell… As of right now, we haven’t felt any negative affects of gaming.”
A free community forum will offer information help to identify problem gambling and give guidance to those which this addiction affects. This forum will be part of, and will be followed by, a conference of the MidCentral Conference on Problem Gambling which is being held at the French Lick Springs Resort on September 19-21.
Anyone who feels that they, a family member, or friend may have this addiction, are encouraged to attend the session being held at the local school auditorium on Thursday.
In addition to Terrell, Counselors from Behavior Care Services and Park Center will be on the conference panel. The MidCentral conference is sponsored by the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and West Virginia Councils on Problem Gambling.
Jerry Long, executive director of the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling said it is increasingly important that agencies provide help to problem gamblers as there is legalized gambling in 48 of the 50 States.