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PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2018. 


Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

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Are Today's Young "Gamers" Tomorrow's Problem Gamblers?

Are kids' video games a gateway to compulsive gambling in adulthood? A New Mexico study aims to find out. (greatschools.org)
Are kids' video games a gateway to compulsive gambling in adulthood? A New Mexico study aims to find out. (greatschools.org)
January 4, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A study is under way to determine the extent of problem gambling in New Mexico, and whether more young people are being drawn in because today's casino games are increasingly likely to resemble video games.

Rebecca Beardsley, president of the Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico, said the study examines the possibility that advances in technology are putting young people at risk for gambling addiction because they were raised in the age of electronics.

She said since the last study in 2006, technology has dramatically changed the gaming industry.

"And they seem to be catering more to the younger, up-and-coming gamblers,” Beardsley said. "And so, what they're doing with a lot of the slot machines is they are modeling them after video games."

The study is financed by the Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico, a group created and funded by several tribes to help combat problem gambling.

In 2015, New Mexico's former secretary of state pleaded guilty to embezzlement and money laundering for using campaign contributions to pay gambling debts.

The World Health Organization announced in December it will begin listing "gaming disorder" as a disease in new health guidelines to be published later this year. According to the WHO, the condition applies to those who play video games compulsively for long periods of time.

Beardsley said the gaming association wants to know whether more needs to be done to prevent a new generation from becoming compulsive gamblers.

"So, it's not just so much, are the kids going to start going into a casino? It's are the kids being set up to be at risk for an addiction such as gambling?” she said.

The 2006 New Mexico study estimated as many as 15,000 women and 24,000 men in the state could be considered “problem" gamblers. New Mexico has a state lottery and horse tracks, and gambling also is legal at casinos on reservations.

More information on problem gambling is available at RGANM.org. The 24-hour gambling hotline can be reached at 888-696-2440.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM