State lawmakers seek ways to deal with problem gamblers

Friday, September 23rd 2005, 6:26 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A legislative committee is searching for ways to deal with social ills that are expected to accompany an increase in state-sponsored gambling in Oklahoma.

State Representative Lance Cargill says the state isn't prepared to deal with an anticipated increase in problem gamblers as the state lottery kicks off and casinos open at state horse racing tracks.

Cargill is leading an interim study of problem gambling that began Thursday at the state Capitol.

State House Speaker Todd Hiett says he will make gambling treatment a top issue during the 2006 legislative session. He says more faith-based counseling programs may be pursued.

Hiett has been critical of proponents of the lottery and gaming proposals approved by voters last November for not providing enough funding to treat problem gambling.