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Online Gambling Legalization in Florida Provokes Vast Surge in Gambling Addiction Hotline Calls

Florida’s Council on Compulsive Gambling New data delivered by Florida’s Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) revealed that after the legalization of online gambling at the end of the previous year, calls to the state’s problem gambling hotline have more than doubled. From December 2023 to January 2024, the figures point to a 130% increase in calls from people reaching out for help. As for the annual forecasts for the volume of calls, they could reach as many as 40,000, representing a 35% increase compared to 2023.

As reported by Fox 13 News, gambling addiction experts shared that the phenomenon could be attributed to the expanded remote gambling opportunities. Forrest Arthur, Chief Executive Officer at Resurgence Tampa Bay, an addiction treatment center, commented on the spike in calls to the state’s problem gambling hotline. He said that anyone occupied in the sphere of compulsive disorders could have seen it coming. Online gambling’s ease of access was the reason that triggered this worrying trend.

Richard Pinsky, the government relations representative of the Council on Compulsive Gambling, stated that the major spike in crisis calls was partially due to online gambling’s appeal to the younger demographic. People aged between 18 and 24 have triggered a rising tide, according to the expert.

According to facts about problem gambling, available on the webpage of the FCCG, there has been an increase of 56% in the number of Florida gamblers aged 25 or younger in need of professional counseling since 2019-2020. Additionally, 53% of Florida Problem gamblers were introduced to gambling before the age of 26.

Mr Pinsky also spoke about the workload experienced by employees at the problem gambling hotline. He shared how hard it was to keep up with every call and message received from people seeking help. Although the organization’s hotline was operative 24/7, the expert predicted a need to double the staff.

The Seminole Tribe Releases Statement on Player Safety and Responsible Gambling

Florida’s Council on Compulsive Gambling Late last year, following the legalization of remote gambling in Florida, the Seminole Tribe launched its online betting platform, called Hard Rock Bet. Proponents of online gambling did not fail to underline the economic benefits associated with the legalization of the industry.

In a written statement, Gary Bitner, a spokesperson for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, underlined its commitment to responsible gambling practices and the implementation of mechanisms ensuring greater player protection. He also mentioned the responsible gambling tools at the disposal of Hard Rock Bet’s app users and the tribe’s continuous engagement with the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.

The FCCF promotes an upcoming campaign, Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM), occurring each year in March. It aims to raise awareness of problem gambling both on state and national levels. Throughout each campaign, the council brings to the fore gambling addiction, as well as the available resources and educational materials for treatment.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.