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Playing Games of Chance May Affect Your Health

Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of developing a problem with gambling.

Nashville, Ark. – With the lottery being at an all-time high, you may be trying your luck at winning it! Most people engage in legalized gambling for fun and entertainment without developing any problems. However, there are some people who take it too far and develop a problem, which can cause problems for your family budget, family relations, friends and coworkers. The financial consequences of gambling can be devastating.

            Research shows that 2.2% of Arkansans are struggling with problem gambling. While that may not be a huge number, it is increasing every year. Gambling disorders can contribute to stress, which can lead to other health risks. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity to name a few. Reducing stress can improve overall health.

            Here are some tips to help reduce your risk of developing a problem with gambling.

  • Consider any money you spend on gambling an entertainment cost. Budget for recreational spending and do not go over your set amount. Consider any money you win as a bonus.
  • Do not think of gambling as a way to make money. Significant financial gain rarely happens. All forms of gambling are set up to take in more money than they pay out. Always accept loss as part of the game.
  • Do not chase losses. Special strategies, such as playing the same numbers in a lottery each week or stopping the spin on a slot machine at a certain time, does nothing to increase your chances of winning. The outcome of most games of chance is completely random.
  • Set a time limit and stick to it. Artificial lighting is often used in gambling establishments to mask the passage of time. Leave when you reach your limit whether you are winning or losing.
  • Do not borrow money to gamble.
  • Know the warning signs of problem gambling. If you or a family member recognizes warning signs, get help!

            Become concerned when gambling behavior interferes with finances, relationships or employment. Knowing your limits is important to reduce the risk of unhealthy behaviors and the loss of your financial security.

            For information on setting a budget contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.

Recipe of the Week

            This is a favorite recipe during the hot days of summer. This recipe is actually an updated version of an older version which uses a raw egg. Remember, eggs can carry salmonella, which can make you very sick. This recipe does not use eggs, and it tastes great!

Banana Split Cake

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup sugar

1 stick butter, melted

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

4 bananas, sliced

1 (15 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (16 oz.) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 (16 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained

½ cup chopped nuts

            Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix together and press into a 9x13-inch pan; refrigerate until chilled.

            Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar; spread over graham cracker crust. Layer bananas and pineapple over cream cheese mixture; cover fruit with whipped topping. Sprinkle chopped nuts on top. Arrange cherries on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

            *Note: You can slice fresh strawberries and made a layer along with the bananas and pineapple. You can drizzle chocolate syrup on top.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


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