For Immediate Release

April 25, 2013
Dr. Rachel Volberg,
Mell Brooks, 603-616-8606;
Concord – A leading expert on the prevalence of problem gambling, Dr. Rachel Volberg, President of Gemini Research in Northampton, MA, confirmed today the correlation between the availability and proximity of gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling in testimony before the Community Impact Subcommittee reviewing SB152 in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.
Dr. Volberg spoke about “The Population Prevalence of Problem Gambling: Methodological Influences, Standardized Rates, Jurisdictional Differences, and Worldwide Trends,” a 2012 study she co-authored for the province of Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Problem Gambling Research Centre. The report reviews and standardizes 202 studies of problem gambling from 1975 to 2011.
Dr. Volberg discussed the evidence that proximity to a casino and, especially, the availability of electronic gambling machines (video slots), is associated with higher rates of problem gambling. The studies are consistent on that point, she said, while also explaining the science behind the different studies over the years.
“We shouldn’t be alarmed by the variation in findings of different studies of problem gambling over several decades,” said Volberg. “The field is still young, and of course nothing stays the same. Even as the number of gambling locations and forms of gambling have changed over time, our science has also improved. Studies over the years have used different criteria for pathological and problem gambling and different survey methods. Some studies look at past-year problems, whereas others examine life-time problems. Our analysis of 202 studies confirms the existence of a relationship between availability of gambling and problem gambling but also highlights the complexities of that relationship.”
Mell Brooks of Littleton told committee members this morning that what he witnessed in the five years he owned and operated an Oregon restaurant with video gambling machines finally drove him to sell the business. “My last day was my happiest day ,” he said. “Mothers were feeding my machines at ten o’clock at night when they should have been home with their children. I saw husbands and wives physically drag their spouse from the machines to keep them from losing everything. I was able to hire four to six extra employees with profits from the machines, but the same number of customers were losing their jobs every year because they couldn’t pull themselves away from the machines to go to work. People would gamble away their whole paycheck on my machines.”

Teens Robbed of I-pod/Cell Phone


MANCHESTER, NH- On Monday, February 11, 2013, at about 6:30 PM, Manchester Police responded to a Clay Street address for a report of a robbery.  On arrival, they met with two 16 year old Manchester teens who reported they had been the victims of a robbery a short time earlier on Somerville Street, near Belmont Street.


According to the boys, they were walking in the area when they were approached by two men, one of whom demanded their belongings, indicating his companion had a gun, although no gun was observed.


One of the boys surrendered his I-pod Nano and Galaxy S3 cell phone and the men left.  They were last seen leaving the area as passengers in an older, dark colored 4-door sedan operated by a third individual who was possibly wearing a red sweatshirt.


The first suspect was described as a white male in his forties, about 6’3” tall with a slender build and dark “stubble” on his face.  He was last seen wearing a dark colored vest and a green “beanie” style hat.  The second man, alleged to have possessed a gun, was described as a clean-shaven white male in his forties with an average height and build.  He was last seen wearing a camouflage shirt and khaki pants.


Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Manchester Police Department at 668-8711.  Anonymous tips for cash rewards can be made through Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040 or online at