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Joanne Collins To Chair Problem
Gambling Alliance

Joanne Collins, a member of the Board of Commissioners for the Port Authority of Kansas City, recently was named chairperson of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling, a group of public, private and non-profit organizations that work together on issues related to gambling.

Collins, a former member of Kansas City's City Council, was elected for the one-year term last week to replace outgoing chairperson Kevin Mullally, executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission. Keith Spare, president of the Missouri Council on Problem Gambling Concerns Inc., was named vice chairperson of the Alliance. Spare is the program director at Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City.

As chairperson, Collins will oversee the Alliance's participation in the planning of the Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse, Aug. 16-18, in Kansas City.

"Research on problem gambling issues in Missouri is vital to improving the services currently offered to Missouri residents," Collins said. "Through a study of the state's Disassociated Persons Program and additional studies scheduled this year, we hope to learn more on how we can reach out to help problem gamblers and their families."

Collins said the Alliance will continue to increase its awareness and educational efforts throughout the state. She also said that the Alliance is planning to expand its prevention efforts in Missouri schools through grants currently being offered by the Port Authority of Kansas City.

Collins currently chairs the Port Authority's Problem Gambling Committee. She served on Kansas City's City Council from 1974 to1991 and currently is a member of more than 40 not-for-profit organizations. She also holds presidential, gubernatorial, regional, county and local appointments. She has worked in the fields of banking, insurance, real estate sales, postal services and community building.

Members of the Missouri Alliance include: the Port Authority of Kansas City, the Missouri Council on Problem Gambling Concerns Inc., the Missouri Gaming Commission, the Missouri Lottery, the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Riverboat Gaming Association.

For more information about the Alliance, visit the Alliance's Web site at: www.888betsoff.org.

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Compulsive gambling is a behavior disorder in which an individual has an uncontrollable preoccupation and urge to gamble. This results in excessive gambling, the outcome of which is loss of time and money.

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