Experts: Casino will add to risks in Cleveland

THOMAS J. SHEERAN Associated Press Published:

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Ohio's first casino is coming in May to Cleveland, one of America's poorest cities, and some fear that will lead to more troubled gamblers.

Counselor Jennifer Clegg says low-income troubled gamblers who cannot afford to travel will find Ohio's four upcoming casinos convenient.

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman has a background in social work and says many troubled gamblers have pre-existing issues that may finally be addressed with programs sponsored by casinos and the state.

The risk was underscored by two veterans enrolled in the VA's only residential treatment center for troubled gamblers, located in Cleveland.

Both described ruined family lives and $1 million gambling losses and say living near a casino location made things worse for them. They insisted on anonymity to protect their privacy.