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- December 17, 2007 at 7:30 am #606466AnonymousInactive
I grabbed this off CNN, go to the link for pics
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A bill in Congress seeks to eliminate military slot machines overseas that take in $130 million a year, mostly from soldiers.
Aaron Walsh’s addiction to military slot machines ruined his Army career and led to his suicide.
1 of 2 The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lincoln Davis, D-Tennessee, named the bill after Army Warrant Officer Aaron Walsh, a decorated Apache helicopter pilot who became addicted to gambling on military slot machines.
Walsh eventually was discharged from the Army. He committed suicide after several failed attempts to break his addiction.
The Defense Department uses slot machine revenues to pay a small portion of its morale, welfare and recreation programs.
Davis said the money raised off the gambling of soldiers is not worth the risks.
“If American men and women are willing to serve our country overseas we should not be dependent on them to pay for recreational activities they deserve,” Davis said in a written statement. “The risks are simply too high and too many to ask that of our soldiers.”
The bill’s introduction comes after Walsh’s story was featured in a CNN investigative report. His widow, Carrie Walsh, described how her husband’s life spun out of control while the military refused to intervene. Watch interview with widow of gambling-addicted soldier »
“The military has this culture of taking care of their own,” Carrie Walsh told CNN. “But it seems like when it comes to this, they just profited from his addiction and then threw him away.”
Father pleads for better mental health care
Carrie Walsh said that in 2005 her husband lost more than $20,000 in military slot machines. He went AWOL, only to be found sitting in front of a video slot machine on a military post in Seoul.
He was forced to resign from the Army and spent time homeless on the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 2006, Walsh returned to Maine and tried to reconnect with his wife and their two small children, but his gambling addiction continued. On September 26, 2006, Walsh, 34, went to Maine’s Baxter State Park and killed himself with a gunshot to the head.
The Army operates 3,000 slot machines on overseas posts, raising $130 million in revenue each year. Other branches of the military operate their own gaming programs.
University of Illinois business professor John Kindt, who has studied gambling addictions and the military, agrees with Davis that the money raised is not worth the risk. He says the military should find other ways to entertain troops.
“It shouldn’t be about exploiting our service personnel and putting families and their children at risk,” he told CNN.
In a statement released by the Pentagon earlier this year, Undersecretary of Defense Leslye Arsht said gambling on bases and posts provides “a controlled alternative to unmonitored host-nation gambling venues and offers a higher payment percentage, making it more entertainment oriented than that found at typical casinos.”
The Warrant Officer Aaron Walsh Stop DOD-Sponsored Gambling Act would prohibit the military from operating slot machines on military bases. The legislation was introduced Wednesday afternoon.December 17, 2007 at 7:55 am #756685AnonymousInactive
My first thought was why are they picking on the gambling world, what very Muslim like behaviour, those guys actually made “no gambling” one of their laws for achieving eternal happiness lol
This story made me a bit angry…what’s next…some guy got killed in a car accident, let’s ban everyone from driving
I don’t get it…this guy got killed by an evil slot machine ?…WTF
The obvious problem here is that buddy missed his family, as many soldiers do, and spent his time gambling to fill that void and keep his mind occupied, instead of being depressed and stressed because he wished he was at home cuddling with his girl instead of going off killing stuff
His mentality was the problem, nothing to do with gambling, it’s just that military threw him at the slots knowing they could always use the slots as a patsy, which is what they’re doing now
This is just wrong
Gambling is not responsible for people who cannot control themselves or lack proper discipline, it is entertainment offered to everyone that many people enjoy, and can accept the risks of playing
If u have problems with gambling addiction then u have problems with other addiction, and need to go work on your character
I can’t believe how they make up these new laws like this, u need to ask yourselves who are these guys and how well do i know them.December 17, 2007 at 11:22 pm #756764AnonymousGuest
while i don’t agree with everything Nick said …. I do agree with the fact that if the location of the base is in an area offering gambling anyway …. why not offer it on base and have these earnings returned to the service persons instead of seeing it fall into hands that will never do anything for these people?
in other words ….. if its going to be done anyway …. in a country where it is legal to do so ….. might as well see the profits returned to our service personal instead of not.April 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm #809442jackybetMember
Old thread however I found this interesting.. Did they end up banning them?April 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm #809444AnonymousInactive
People with addicitve personal;ities get addicted to whatever happens to cross their way, from alcohol to nicotine to sugar to adrenalin and, and, and…