Oregon has a complicated relationship with gambling. On the one hand, lottery dollars go towards funding basic state services education, public safety and parks. On the other hand, some of that money comes from the roughly 74,000 Oregonians who have been identified as problem gamblers.
Currently, one percent of lottery proceeds go towards mitigating gambling addiction. Some lawmakers want to create additional safeguards. One proposal would require servers and bartenders to be on the lookout for gambling addiction the way they currently watch out for excessive alcohol consumption. Another calls for the lottery commission to hire someone specifically to advise the commission and lottery director on mental health and addiction issues.
Has gambling addiction touched your life? What’s your take on these proposals?
- Carolyn Tomei: Oregon state representative (D-Milwaukee)
- Bill Perry: Vice president of government affairs at the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association