Casino Workers Learn To Spot Compulsive Gamblers

Arnie Wexler is a compulsive gambling counselor. The stories he shares with casino workers about others reflect his own personal addiction.

"I'm a recovering compulsive gambler who hasn't gambled since April 10, 1968. I never gambled in a casino but got in plenty of trouble because of my gambling."

Wexler uses his addiction to send positive messages. In a session with Grand Casino management employees, Wexler tells them the signs someone may be out of control.

"Compulsive gamblers will have high levels of energy, unreasonable optimism, they think they can do anything and they have magical thinking. But what happens is and some of the signs you'll see in a casino is they'll ask for more and more credit. They need to gamble more than they tend to want to," he says.

Grand's parent company, Park Place, says it knows some people have problems controlling their gaming habits. That's why all management employees are required to participate in the education and counseling workshops.

Park Place Vice President of Human Resources Gene Clark says, "If we can help one person avoid a problem or deal with their issue and avoid the pitfalls that people have when they have this issue, then all the training's worthwhile."

Clark says raising awareness of compulsive gambling is the best way to help people who may not know themselves they have a problem.

The mandatory management training takes place every two years. Employees are also required to undergo shorter training sessions each year.