Setting record straight on gambling legislation

I am writing in response to the article in The Day "Effort to legalize online gambling may benefit from deficit debate," (Jan. 1). The article states:

"A year ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy began talks with the state's two major casinos about such a move. The talks stalled, and state legislators - amid lobbying by the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling - failed to take up the issue."

This statement misrepresents the council's role in the 2011 legislative session. The council was asked to inform the legislature's Finance Committee about likely impacts if online gambling was legalized. In the role of advocate, not lobbyist, CCPG's message to the legislature was that online gambling could " put our most vulnerable citizens, i.e. youth, seniors, and those in recovery, at greater risk. If expansion of gambling is to occur, CCPG asks that appropriate funding is attached to any proposed Bill. With any proposed expansion of gambling, considerable safeguards need to be put in place and these safeguards need to be determined not only by the gambling industry, but in collaboration with those of us who work in the field of problem gambling and have firsthand knowledge of the impact of problem and pathological gambling on the gambler and his/her significant others."

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