Casinos Want To Break The Bank

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ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey: As if it weren't bad enough to come home from the casino with an empty wallet, just think how you'd feel a month later if you got a credit card bill charging you 18 percent interest on your losses. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission voted 3-1 on Wednesday to let players buy chips or tokens using credit cards or debit cards in lieu of cash. Not surprisingly, experts on compulsive gambling have criticized the move. "In the act of walking away from a machine and walking outside or into the lobby, it gives someone a breaking point," said Chuck Micciche, deputy director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "It allows them to break their focus on gambling, their compulsive thought process. In some cases, it might give you the time you need to cool down and think about what you're doing." Casino owners see the move as nothing more than a convenience, as ATM and credit card machines are already accessible at casinos. Others see it as sheer madness. "If someone went to a bank and asked for $5,000 saying he wanted to go gambling in Atlantic City, he'd be turned down," said Edward Looney, the head of the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling. "But they're turning their heads on this." -->