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Helping Gambling Addicts Help Themselves

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CBS SF Bay (con't)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCBS) _ State officials have unveiled a web-based computer program for all of California’s licensed cardrooms that is intended on helping addicted gamblers.

The Attorney General’s Self Exclusion Program, which was launched in 2007, allows gambling addicts to voluntarily exclude themselves from licensed cardrooms for a year, five years or forever.

“We’ve had it on paper. Now we have it electronically and on the web, so it’s another step forward,” said California Attorney General Jerry Brown.

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He said the move will allow cardroom operators online access to the AG’s database.

“So when these problem gamblers come in, they can’t get winnings. They’re escorted out,” he said.

Brown calls this a safety net for problem gamblers.

“Even though it’s voluntary to begin with, it becomes a list that excludes them. So that becomes one extra assistance in curbing their gambling addiction,” Brown said.

And Brown said he is convinced that cardroom operators will make use of the technology.

“They have a heart. They understand that for people to have any respect for what they do,” Brown said. “They can’t take advantage of people who are compulsive and obsessive and out of control in terms of throwing all their money away at the poker table.”

For now, the program applies only to cardrooms and not the lottery, tribal casinos or horse racing. But Brown said it might be expanded.

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