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The Philadelphia Inquirer Reid Kanaley column
[November 19, 2012]

The Philadelphia Inquirer Reid Kanaley column

GAMBLING, Nov 18, 2012 (The Philadelphia Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- now a revenue source for many governments -- poses knotty policy questions. Check these sites as Pennsylvania considers the applicants for a second Philadelphia casino.

Pathological gambling. Gambling has allure for individuals seeking entertainment with the chance -- however remote -- of quick riches. The National Council on Problem Gambling, based in Washington, says it is not for or against gambling, per se, but tries to promote awareness of and treatment for destructive "pathological gambling." It certifies counselors, operates a help line, and provides educational material and links to other services such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon. Here's Gamblers Anonymous: And here is Gam-Anon: Nevada bling. Nevada put the bling in gambling, and the state is home to the Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming. Operating out of the University of Nevada, Reno, the institute offers programs in gaming management. It runs development programs for gaming executives but says in its literature it also focuses on the wider public-policy issues that involve gambling. It lists publications that include "The Downside: Problem and Pathological Gambling," as well as "Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition." Pros and cons. The archived site for "Easy Money," a Frontline documentary, includes this page listing websites and articles arguing for and against gambling, whose alleged easy riches also attract cash-starved governments. The "pro" list has titles such as "The Virtues of Gambling," and the "con" list features "The Government as Predator -- a Troubling New Role in Troubled Economies." Online gambling. Wagering over the Internet already has a murky legal history and has its own attractions and pitfalls -- for individuals, the gaming industry, and policymakers. What, for example, is the attraction to gambling by oneself In the context of the thorny legal tussle over Internet casinos, HowStuffWorks explains online gambling, how it's done, and even how it complicates cheating. -- Contact Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114,, or follow @ReidKan on Twitter.

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