While the American Gaming Association does not take a position on local gaming issues, we do make a point to correct the record when inaccurate information is presented. In her Aug. 7 column, Elizabeth Marsh Cupino included a few such inaccuracies while reflecting on the pending referendum on casino gaming in Maryland.
First, not a single reputable research study on disordered gambling labels slot machines as the “crack cocaine of gambling.” This phrase is a sensationalist expression invoked by gaming opponents, but to suggest that credible science has compared gambling to an extremely dangerous, illegal drug is irresponsible.
In addition, the prevalence rate of pathological gambling cited in the column is higher than the rate espoused by the scientific community. The fact is, approximately 1 percent of the population has pathological gambling, a prevalence rate that has remained stable over time despite a significant expansion of gaming across the country.
This letter is not meant to diminish the problem. Certainly, even one problem gambler is one too many, which is why our industry spends millions of dollars annually funding research and raising awareness about disordered gambling. We simply believe your readers deserve the facts.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association