We hope you’ve been reading this week’s CNHI series on gambling and the effects it can have on people. CNHI is The Herald Bulletin’s parent company.

The series was provided by CNHI News Service, which has just launched the Elite Reporting Program of which this series is the first effort. In June, The Herald Bulletin’s features editor, Avon Waters, will be participating in the program.

The series focused on the ill effects of gambling. On the first day, the class of adults who are afflicted with gambling problems was profiled, followed by a story on the rising social and economic problems inherent in gambling. In today’s final story, the reporter discovered there were no federal programs and few from the states and gambling industry that fund prevention and treatment programs. In sidebars, there were personal stories that illustrated the theme of the day.

In THB’s local stories, we concentrated on the revenue end of gambling, from Hoosier Park to alternative gambling to figures from the Hoosier Lottery.

We’ve always advocated responsible gambling and have been proponents of pull-tab machines to help increase the revenue at Hoosier Park.

Gaming money has been a boon to the local economy. We’ve watched as the money at Hoosier Park has fallen off since the opening of Indiana Downs in Shelby County. The Legislature has entertained the idea of pull-tab machines at Hoosier Park but has never passed it. Such legislation would add to city coffers when the money is needed.

In our story Sunday, we wrote that $120 million was gambled in 2005 at Hoosier Park and that money spreads throughout the community. Rick Moore, general manager at Hoosier Park, sees pull-tab machines as the answer: increased taxes for local government, increased revenue for Hoosier Park and increased purses for the horsemen. A win-win, he calls it, and we agree.

Of course, we realize that we can’t base our local economy on Hoosier Park, but the revenue it brings in is unquestionably dynamic to a city that has been ravaged by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

There is treatment available for gamblers who develop addictions to the rush of betting money for more money. And there are social problems involved. But most gamblers are responsible, and we think they should have the outlets locally to play their gambling dollars.

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