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Reporter Honored for Dedication
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Rick Alm accepts his award.Rick Alm, former Gambling and Tourism writer for the Kansas City Star newspaper, received the 2009 Outstanding Contributor Award from the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling for his years of commitment and coverage of gambling-related issues.

Alm worked for the metropolitan newspaper for 30 years, covering many gaming topics including the activities of the Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling since its inception in December of 1997. For the past 12 years, since the Alliance was created, Alm wrote tirelessly about problem gambling and related topics in his weekly column in the Kansas City Star.

Alm also attended many problem gaming conferences and meetings, in order to better understand the issues surrounding these disorders, so he could best communicate them to the more than 250,000 subscribers of the Star.

In addition to his column, Alm started blogging about gambling and problem gambling in 2007, when the Lucky Numbers Web site was launched. The Web site included links to problem gambling help such as the Bets Off Web site, the Bets Off help line and others affiliated with the Alliance.

"Alm's commitment to informing his readers about problem gambling was unsurpassed," said Gary Gonder, director of Integrated Services for the Missouri Lottery. "He provided an invaluable service to the Alliance and its members, and his contribution will be sorely missed."

The Outstanding Contributor Award is presented annually to an individual, group, organization or company who has demonstrated superior achievement in addressing problem and pathological gambling issues.

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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.

The gambling reaches the point at which it compromises, disrupts or destroys the gambler's personal life, family relationships or vocational pursuits. The key signs are emotional dependence on gambling, loss of control and interference with normal functioning.