University of Pittsburgh
December 18, 2006

A Casino in Pittsburgh: What Are the Stakes?

Three Pitt faculty experts available to comment on social and economic impact
Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-Does a casino bring with it the potential for a spike in compulsive gambling, bankruptcies, substance abuse, and domestic violence? How well is the Pittsburgh region equipped to help those facing these problems? Pitt School of Social Work (SSW) Dean Larry Davis can address these issues. He can discuss the possible social ills that stem from gambling and explain what Pitt's SSW is doing to help. Davis can be reached at 412-624-6304.

Tracy Soska, SSW chair of community organization and social administration, is spearheading a project that will assess how prepared community service organizations are to respond to an anticipated increase in gambling addiction and its accompanying impact on individuals, families, and communities. He can discuss the SSW's collaboration with the Office of Behavioral Health, part of Allegheny County's Department of Human Services, in examining the preparedness of local mental health organizations. Soska is hopeful the assessment will lead to improved training and education for social service providers. He can discuss SSW's role in helping the community better understand and monitor the impact of casino gambling. He can be reached at 412-624-3711.

Christopher Briem (BREEM), regional economist at Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research, is available to speak in general terms about the impact the casino could have on the local economy. Briem's areas of expertise include local public finance, migration, demographics, and forecasting. He can be reached at 412-624-3791 or cbriem@pitt.edu.

For a list of Pitt faculty experts, visit www.umc.pitt.edu/m/experts.html

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12/19/06/tmw