Florida's online sports betting relaunch spurs rise in gambling hotline calls

April 15, 2024
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A spokesperson noted that such spikes in hotline activity often follow major sporting events.

The recent relaunch of online sports betting in Florida has led to a significant increase in calls to the state's gambling hotline, indicating heightened concerns about gambling-related issues among residents.

According to Richard Pinsky, a spokesperson for the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, the volume of calls and messages to the gambling helpline has more than doubled since the reintroduction of online sports betting.

Pinsky noted that such spikes in hotline activity often follow major sporting events, highlighting the potential impact of online gambling accessibility.

The surge in calls is not limited to individuals with gambling problems; family members seeking assistance for their loved ones have also been reaching out to the helpline.

Pinsky emphasised that the convenience of online sports betting removes previous barriers, making it easier for individuals to engage in potentially harmful gambling behaviors.

With approximately 1% of Americans estimated to suffer from a gambling disorder, concerns are growing that the expanded accessibility of online betting could exacerbate addiction issues.

Pinsky highlighted the need for stricter regulations on advertising, particularly to younger demographics, and urged lawmakers to address these concerns.

Parents of older teens and young adults are advised to be particularly vigilant, as these age groups may be more susceptible to developing gambling problems.

In February earlier this year, there was a similar increase in calls to the Florida hotline, according to a local WFLX news report.


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