This Tuesday, Long Island’s Family and Children’s Association (FCA), a non-profit organization assisting vulnerable individuals, families, and local communities, announced the launch of two new gambling support and wellness centers. The first one is in Hicksville and the second one is in Hempstead. As CBC News reported, the association aims to deliver help to those struggling with gambling problems.
This is a major step forward in terms of responsible gambling practices, considering the much-anticipated start of the Super Bowl is just days away. According to projections from the American Gaming Association, 68 million will wager on the championship, or approximately 1 in 4 US citizens. This represents a 35% increase compared to the betting volume during last year’s season.
The substantial growth is largely attributable to the rise of mobile wagering, enabling millions of bettors to access sports betting products at any time from the comfort of their surroundings. However, the ease of sports betting leads to an increased risk of developing gambling problems, as gambling experts warn.
The FCA Will Partner with Local Casinos to Raise Awareness of the Available Problem Gambling Resources&
Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer of the FCA commented on the launch of the two new centers, highlighting the initiative to help people not only in Long Island but in the Tri-State Area. The professional assistance includes both the identification of gambling-related issues and the journey to recovery.
As Dr. Reynolds explained, the red flags for problem gambling can be measured in terms of the frequency of gambling, the amount of money spent on the activity, and whether it increases over time. He said that problem gambling could have adverse effects on various aspects of an individual’s life, including marital issues, financial difficulties, and mental health disorders.
Nicolle Vasselman, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Services at the FCA, identified the Super Bowl as a “critical time” for problem gamblers and added that the organization had the necessary resources to help them. She said that instead of telling problem gamblers what to do, the organization’s professionals focus on a collaborative approach, identifying their goals in terms of their gambling and other aspects of their lives.
The FCA also underlined its readiness to help anyone in search of professional help. The association will collaborate with local casinos to raise awareness of the available resources for those in need of assistance.
With online sports betting attracting a younger demographic, the non-profit organization also focuses its efforts on educating these individuals on how problem gambling can affect one’s life.
As per estimations of the National Council on Problem Gambling, 1% of the US population fits the criteria for severe gambling problems, whereas 2-3% can be classified as at-risk gamblers.