| 1996 Study by UNM and the State Health Department
1996 STUDY BY UNM AND THE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT REPORTS 40,000
NEW MEXICANS WITH COMPULSIVE GAMBLING DISORDER, INDICATING A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS.
Although Governor Johnson, in a January 31, 1997 Albuquerque Journal
article seemed to support a "zero net gain" theory, meaning that compulsive
gamblers have a fixed number that simply rotate from venue to venue, research from around
the nation shows what we instinctively already know: When you increase the opportunity to
gamble, you get more compulsive gamblers.
The Albuquerque Tribune reports, "The more available gambling
is, the more people will play, and the greater the chance they will become addicted, said
Dr. Valerie Lorenz, director of Baltimore's Compulsive Gambling Center."
In an Iowa study completed in 1995, Dr. Rachel Volberg, director of
Gemini Research, reported that the level of problem and pathological gamblers went from
1.7% of the population to 5.4%. The study began in 1987, before riverboat casinos were
legalized in Iowa. She indicated that there were at least 80,000 new compulsive gamblers
- According to the Tribune, when told of New Mexico's gambling
addiction study Dr. Lorenz replied:
- "WHY ANY GOVERNOR OR LEGISLATURE WOULD WANT TO RUN THAT RISK IS
TO ME, IMPEACHABLE".