By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require casinos to issue monthly statements to people detailing their wins and losses at the casino.

A former gambling addict has been pushing for the legislation, but the casino industry doesn’t want to see it happen.

As an enticement to keep you coming back, the casinos offer reward cards telling their clients the more the more you play the more you can win.

“This is the syringe of the gaming industry,” Bill Kearny, a recovering gambling addict turned anti-gaming activist, said. “This is how they deliver their drug.”

Frequent players are rewarded with all sorts of merchandise. Kearny says they help turn casual gamblers into addicts by helping them rationalize their losses.

“Once you get into that chase, once you start winning and you try to win more and you’re going to end up losing, and you start chasing back your losses and you’re justifying it with this comp system, you’re dead, you’re over,” he said.

“We’ve got to be able to level that playing field and protect our children, protect our families,” State Rep. Paul Clymer, R-Bucks County, said.

The legislature is set to vote on a bill requiring casino companies to send out monthly statements to people who use the cards.

Much like a credit card statement, it would show the users or their families just how much money is being spent.

Casinos like The Rivers oppose the legislation as an unnecessary burden on gaming operators.

Craig Clark, a spokesperson for the casino, said that information is available every day upon request.

“All it would do is put another requirement on us to send this to all patrons on a monthly basis,” he said.

“There’s no evidence to support that it changes gaming behaviors,” Clark said.

Getting monthly statements signed into law will be an uphill battle. Casino opposition is strong, but proponents say they’ll continue to fight hard for what they see as a necessary safeguard against gaming addiction.

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State Rep. Paul Clymer
The Rivers Casino

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