Statewide Defense Group Concern About Sports Betting
Florida – The expansion of legal betting has alarmed an advocacy group in Florida about a growing addiction to gambling.
The deal that Governor Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe reached earlier this year will allow sports betting in Florida. The agreement includes both in-person and online sports betting.
Online gambling allows struggling people to hide behind closed doors, said Jennifer Cross, executive director of the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.
“It promotes gambling in isolation, so sometimes family members and friends may not see those typical warning signs. Someone doesn’t have to leave the house to go to the casino to bet or go to the store to buy a lottery ticket, they can sit right on the sofa next to you on their phone,” she said. You may not know what they are doing.”
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling remains neutral on gambling issues but wants to support those who struggle. With the expansion, she said, there will be an increased potential for gambling addiction to develop. She said her group tends to see groups vulnerable to compulsion to gamble online.
“We’re seeing a younger demographic, and they tend to be male. And the younger men are white males and they have higher incomes as well, so I think the potential for them to get into deeper financial problems much faster is definitely there,” Cruz said.
There are warning signs that can help you spot the signs of trouble.
She said that things like needing to gamble with more money, losing relationships due to gambling and financial problems are some of those signs.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling also has a hotline where those who struggle can access help.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can call 888-ADMIT-IT.