NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Now we'd like to hear from Nancy Lantz. Welcome Ms. Lantz, from the Colorado Council on Compulsive Gambling.
TESTIMONY OF NANCY LANTZ
MS. LANTZ: Hello, Mr. Chairperson and Committee.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Could you lower that for Ms. Lantz a little bit? Now, we'll see if that works. If it doesn't, we have one over here you can use.
MS. LANTZ: Okay. The Colorado Council on Compulsive Gambling is an affiliate of the National Council. There are 34 affiliates. As you know, we don't take a stand on any gambling issues. However, we do take position on problem gambling.
We do have some concerns that there won't be an original research study. We believe that there are significant questions about problem and pathological gambling that can only be answered by original research. I think you all have a letter from Dr. Henry Lesieur. Dr. Henry Lesieur feels that there needs to be at least 34,000 people in the research and that it should be a door-to-door survey, versus the telephone research or survey that we have done in the past.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: We received a correspondence from Dr. Lesieur a couple of months ago at my request. I phoned him. Then I sent copies of that to my two colleagues on the Committee. Is this a more recent letter that you're referring to?
MS. LANTZ: Well, in July, the 22nd?
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Yes. That's fine.
MS. LANTZ: Is that the one?
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: And you both have a copy of that.
MS. LANTZ: Okay. If you don't, I can provide that for you.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Thank you. I think we do.
MS. LANTZ: Specifically, a national prevalence study is needed. While there have been numerous surveys throughout the states, there hasn't been a significant national study that reflects the attitude changes toward gambling in the last 20 years.
The prevalence study would be very useful to identify the rates of problem and pathological gambling and, also, the high-risk populations, the youth, elderly people, women, college-age gamblers, ethnic minorities and middle-age men. There also needs to -- it needs to identify some research to look at issues like family violence and how pathological and problem gambling is involved in that.
There also needs to be research into credit abuse, over-spending and a lack of personal responsibility and how these issues relate to problem and pathological gamblers. There's a need for research on the impact of problem gambling on the work place.
There's also a need for an impact study to see how it affects the family, as well as the children that come from pathological and problem gamblers. Is there a difference in the gender? Is there a difference if the children are male or female? Is there a difference if the addicted person is a father or mother?
We would also hope that the results of the research would be a further awakening that problem and pathological gambling and the public health issue should be addressed as any other public health issue, and that there should be significant funding to maximize the number of people to prevent the progression of pathological gambling.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Thank you, very much.
MS. LANTZ: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: We appreciate it.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: I don't have a question. I do have a comment, which is: I support and, I believe, that many other if not all of the Commissioners support the kind of national prevalence study that you're talking about. There's a budgetary problem here in doing that on a door-to-door basis. I personally agree with you that it should be done that way, and I would hope the Commission ends up doing that. So thank you, very much, for your comments.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: Thank you.
Now, that's all the witnesses we have on our list. I thank both of the witnesses for coming. We are currently inquiring to see if we can move into another room which has a little less noise coming from the back of us.
COMMISSIONER McCARTHY: We're trying to see if we can get into a quieter room. Let's take a five-minute break while we're seeing if management can help us out.
(A short recess ensued.)