Tennessee addiction clinics weigh in on sports betting’s contribution to treatment requests

August 4, 2023
By
Leer en Español

One 24-hour hotline has observed an increase in calls related to problem gambling since 2020.

A Tennessee addiction treatment clinic has reported a rise in activity related to requests for help with gambling problem issues, according to a local report in the Cheatham County Exchange.

Dr. James Whelan at the University of Memphis began examining the effects sports betting has had on addiction rates, a project he said he approached out of curiosity.  

He told local news, “When you introduce new forms of gambling, then the rates of people having struggles goes up.”

Whelan currently runs a gambling-specific clinic at the University of Memphis called The Gambling Clinic. The facility focuses on providing treatment for problem gambling, as well as providing resources and raising awareness for responsible gaming.

The state first embraced legalized online sports wagering in 2019. Since the market’s opening, Tennessee is currently home to 13 sportsbooks.

Addiction treatment facilities, like the TN Redline, have observed an increase in the number of calls asking for help related to problem gambling. The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services funds the Redline, which is operated by the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drugs and Other Addiction Services (TAADAS).

The 24-hour hotline has been taking calls since 2006. During the last three years, calls related to problem gambling have increased from 18 to 40 per month.

TAADAS Executive Director Mary Linden said there could be a correlation between the state’s legal sports wagering market and the increase in calls.

She said, “It was when sports betting got started that the need became more clear across the state.”

However, Whelan said he believes the commercial market has brought previous statewide problem gambling issues to the surface.

He said, “In some ways, I think the state of Tennessee, like many jurisdictions, was really not paying attention to the existence of gambling problems.

“In some ways, sports wagering has put a little bit of a spotlight on problems that still existed.”

State-by-State

Product Spotlight

Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Group is a global content-driven iGaming technology provider, serving online and land-based gaming operators with its proprietary and exclusive content and cutting-edge technology.
GA HUDDLE #087

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!
GA HUDDLE #086

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

As the Tribal gaming sector congregates once more in the Golden State, is it too cliché of me to suggest we are heading for a golden era of Tribal gaming? With the industry set to meet at the Indian Gaming Association t...

10-11-From-the-top
From The Top: Will youth be served by Sports Betting?
Two recent interviews in our Huddle podcast revealed to Las Vegas correspondent Brian Joseph just how young sports betting entrepreneurs are becoming.
12-GA-MAR-10-year-v2
The Global Gaming Awards: Rewarding Excellence
The 10th edition of the Global Gaming Awards took place in Las Vegas last year. Gaming America looks back... and ahead to this year's.
16-18-IGA-Preview
Preview: Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Gaming America looks ahead to the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and what attendees can expect when they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
20-22-GA-Mar-888-Holding-article
888 and the US Market: A cautionary tale
Gaming America explores the risk of resting on your laurels and the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly expanding market.