Since state-run lottery was first introduced in 1984, gambling in Oregon continues to increase both in venues and revenues, Oregon families will continue to struggle with gambling addiction, loss of income and marriage failure. Oregon’s reliance on gambling revenues furthers the problems and is directly related to the continued expansion of gaming in Oregon. Here are a few key reasons Oregon Family Council believes the state or Oregon and its citizens should look elsewhere for entertainment and revenue.

Gambling causes serious addiction.

In Oregon gambling is a serious problem and affects countless families each year. Although Oregon has one of the largest budgets for gambling treatment, Oregon families continue to struggle with what experts, and gamblers themselves say is more difficult to spot than alcoholism and drug dependencies — and can be harder to kick.

“Alcoholics and cocaine-dependent males, they’re telling me, this hook is deeper,” said Charles Maurer, a Seattle psychologist who is the past president of the National Council on Problem Gambling. “The cravings run deep.”

Gambling hurts families.

According to the Oregon Department of Human Services, in 2002, 1,380 Oregon residents signed up for some form of gambling treatment — an increase of nearly 40 percent from the previous year, according to a March 2003 report on the program. An additional 272 family members signed up for counseling.

Gambling’s has its greatest impact on families that can least afford. Statistics show that those individuals with lower household incomes are most apt to habitual gambling. This inevitably leads to even further economic difficulty triggering marriage struggles, greater challenges in parenting, possibly other harmful addictions, and in the worst cases, suicide.

Gambling will continue to increase.

In the last three decades since Oregon first adopted legalized gambling in the form of state run lottery, Oregon has seen a dramatic increase in participants in and forms of gambling. This is largely due to Oregon’s heavy reliance on gambling revenues and a continually increasing demand for gaming resources. Former Governor Kulongoski’s proposal to allow Native American tribes to build off-reservation casinos is a prime example of the continued increase and reliance on legalized gambling in our state despite the very evident risks to marriage and families associated with gambling.