More Gamblers, But Less Gambling

October 10, 2008 1:13:39 AM PDT
The pains of the financial fallout are being felt in some parts of the Big Fresno Fair. Revenues are down at the horse racing track, even though more people are sitting in the grandstand.Kevin Gallagher from Santa Cruz visits the Fresno Fair every year. It is his time to be with family, see live entertainment and place a few wagers at the race track.

Even though times are tough economically Gallagher says he is still willing to take his chances. But this year he's not betting as much.

Gallagher is not the only one in this crowd betting more conservatively this year. Fair C.E.O. John Alkire says wagering at the track is down from last year despite an increase in betting from people out of state watching the races on satellite TV.

John Alkire said, "We have the record numbers coming in but there not betting as much. We're off about 9 1/2 % on track but like I said we're up 24% out of state."

California lottery officials say they see similar habits from customers. More people are spending less on tickets at the counter.

California Lottery Press Secretary Albert Lundeen said, "Lottery tickets are discretionary dollars and we understand that. So the economy has some impact."

Fresno State addiction specialist Dr. Charles Arokiasamy says it's not uncommon that people still play the lottery or bet on horses during economic downfalls.

Dr. Charles Arokiasamy said, "They'll probably reduce their betting even though they go there. It's a great way to let off some steam."

And with just a few days left of racing, fair officials are hoping betters will come through in the final stretch.

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