Royally Kranked

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The military rolls a MAJOR snake eyes

Now, I completely agree those in the military are adults able to make their own choices, yet when this temptation is offered, yet can be held against any personnel who tries to get help, then it sure seems likely that the military values profits over it's own personnel

bypass registration with

Temptation Near for Military's Problem Gamblers

Despite research showing that service members are at least as vulnerable to compulsive gambling as civilians - even more vulnerable, some research suggests - the military spends little of its Congressional funding, and none of its gambling profits, on treatment for those whose gambling gets out of control.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers report to the Pentagon noted "a general lack of accessible treatment for gambling addiction," but that warning was not included in the Pentagon's final report to Congress.

And of course, as always, it's usually not just the compulsive gambler who has the problem to deal with

"The fact that few treatment options exist for military personnel, their family members" and other personnel at overseas bases "is not disputed," the paper said. "Prior to the start of the present program in Okinawa, no formal overseas treatment options for pathological gambling existed."

The Okinawa program treated 35 patients in 2003. Most cited slot machines as their primary form of gambling, although five said they spent "significant time playing bingo" as well. Seven of them, or 20 percent, said they had considered suicide.

Although its leaders called the Okinawa program "quite promising," it no longer exists, according to a Navy spokesman.

The lure of easy money is what's keeping this gambling going, with no real or effective way to treat those caught up in an insidious web

Today, there are approximately 4,150 modern video slot machines at military bases in nine countries, according to Mr. Isaacs and an Air Force spokesman.


But while Army bingo operations are modest, they are twice as profitable as slot machines and produce an annual profit of about $7 million on revenue of about $45 million. Sixty percent of those bingo programs are small, but 11 of them collect average monthly revenue of more than $100,000. Those include games at some of the giant bases deploying troops to Iraq - Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

And there's another problem-The military's own study isn't done annually, and one other issue as well

The methodology in the surveys "is out of date in a big way," Ms. Volberg said. Top military officials "say they have no gambling problem," she said. "But they haven't measured it in a way that's comparable to the way rates are measured in the civilian population."

Moreover, self-reporting surveys are poor tools for measuring behavior, like excessive gambling, that are "essentially criminalized in the military culture," said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling in Arlington, Va.

To read about the actual human faces behind the dry statistics, check out the article-It doesn't look like a very happy ending for the soldier who's it's focus, as he's in Las Vegas, broke, & considering suicide on a regular basis


Post a Comment

<< Home