Woman fights gambling addiction with "self-exclusion" program

MURPHYSBORO -- A Jackson County woman takes control of her gambling addiction with a program that keeps her out of places that have gaming machines.

"I'm in control. This is not beating me. I made the choice to self-exclude," says Mary Frazer, of Murphysboro.

Frazer struggled with a major gambling problem for years. She has now decided to take control of her addiction and wants others to hold her accountable through a program called "self-exclusion."

In July 2002, the Illinois Gaming Board launched a statewide voluntary self-exclusion program. The program allows problem gamblers to exclude themselves from Illinois casinos.

"They're going to know that person and they're going to say, 'Hey, you know what, you have self-excluded. I'm respecting that you're you, but we have to ask you to leave.'"

Frazer said her addiction got so bad she had to get help or lose everything. She said she would be on the video gaming machines five days a week, for several hours.

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