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Agency to gather feedback Wednesday on problem gambling fund budget

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at 10:01 a.m.

The state agency that controls a fund to treat problem gambling in Kansas will gather feedback Wednesday from mental health officials on how to use the fund in 2014. Some of those officials have questioned the amount of money available to address the issue in the past, and how that money has been spent.

The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services will conduct a Web seminar with the officials from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund is funded by the three state-owned casinos in Kansas, including the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane. They are required to give 2 percent of their gaming revenue to the fund.

This year, the budget called for only $740,000 of the more than $9 million generated for the fund to go to problem gambling services. The bulk has gone to Medicaid services to treat other addictions.

The proposed 2014 budget calls for $1.188 million to go to problem gambling.

The Internet meeting is intended to gather input on how to spend the additional money in areas such as public awareness, prevention and treatment.

Each casino zone has a problem gambling task force that is slated to receive $10,000 from the fund in 2014, but task force members have said that isn’t enough to deal with the problems they are facing.

The department for aging and disability services plans to distribute a line-item budget for the fund by Aug. 12.

Reach Fred Mann at 316-268-6310 or fmann@wichitaeagle.com.

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