The head of the state gaming commission is pushing a new approach to help people deal with their gambling problems.
Fourteen-thousand people have put themselves on a voluntary list to be excluded from casinos. Some cannot stay away even with that and they often get caught and charged.
Executive Director Gene McNary of the state gaming commission says he is talking with the Department of Mental Health about compulsive gamblers applying to the department for counseling..
“We are going to start discussions on that,” says McNary. “I think that would be a step forward in trying to deal with the problem gambler.”
The department could still give names to the gaming commission to be placed on its “restricted” list.
McNary admits some problem gamblers might not want to admit they have a problem that the mental health department should be part of.
Budgetary and statutory issues will have to be resolved before such a program can become mandatory for Missouri’s addictive gamblers.