Compulsive gambling is a tricky topic in a town where casino operators are considered economic engines and icons of ingenuity instead of unsavory merchants muddying the water between entertainment and highway robbery.
This makes casino owner John Woodrum something of an enigma. He worries about those customers who can’t resist the slots’ siren call.
Woodrum, 72, owns the Klondike Sunset, a neighborhood casino that depends on repeat visits from nearby residents, including people, he says, who are perpetually broke.
“Nothing bothers me as much as seeing people lose more than they can afford,” he says. “I’ve told people, ‘Why don’t you just walk away and let it go for a while?’ ” But they don’t.