Expert says gambling compacts need to better address addiction

The debate over renegotiation of Oklahoma’s gaming compacts with tribal governments has centered on the rates paid by tribes and the impact of renegotiation on statetribal relations. But some officials say those discussions are overlooking another important factor.

“In all of this conversation, no one has mentioned problem gambling,” said Wiley Harwell, a licensed professional counselor who is executive director of the Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling.

If the compacts are renegotiated, which Harwell concedes may not happen, his organization believes several issues related to compulsive gambling and addiction need to be addressed.

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