One take a look at the Illinois sports activities playing market in a single 12 months reveals no widespread playing issues

The vast majority of Illinois sports gamers do not show an unhealthy tendency to gamble. This is good news as opponents of gambling have repeatedly – and falsely – tried to argue that legalized gambling would destroy communities. They claimed that only a society full of crazy people would make it, walking around and placing bets everywhere while pawning their homes, their cars, and even their unborn children. However, even Illinois mental health experts have admitted it did not and are finding an extremely low percentage of gambling addiction a year after online sports gambling was introduced.

Anti-gamers exaggerate the consequences?

Any activity, substance, food, drink or experience can lead to addiction, but according to many psychologists only if there is already a tendency to addiction. Illinois appears to be relatively free of those who might have the disposition, as a look at how online gambling is performing in the state after 12 months reveals no major issues. Even Faye Freeman-Smith, gambling advisor and board member of the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling, can’t identify a bigger problem. According to the Daily Herald, she claims, “There are a few who will have trouble 2% to 3% of bettors.”

In comparison, alcohol and prescription drug addiction are much worse in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25.8% of the population are at times “predatory drinkers” and regularly consume excessive alcohol. This resulted in an economic impact of $ 249 billion in the US in 2010 attributable to lost productivity at work, health expenses, vehicle accidents, property damage, criminal justice costs, and more. Coincidentally, the CDC reports that in 2015 Illinois was among the states with a higher prevalence of binge drinking (20.8%), which seems to expose that alcoholism and gambling addiction go hand in hand. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 8% of the population is classified as an “opioid use disorder,” and 80% of heroin users started using opioids.

Another mental health expert found similar results with the Illinois gambling environment. Charles Vorderer is a consultant at the Center for Therapeutic Services and Psychodiagnostics and has seen no increase in problem gambling among those arriving at any of the company’s three facilities. He explains, “I haven’t seen an increase in gambling problems related to depression, anxiety, or substance abuse because usually when they walk in they don’t realize they have a gambling problem in themselves. We’re not Vegas, we don’t have casinos, you have to drive a path for that. For those who have gambling as the main cause of a problem, I have not seen an increase. “

Gambling problems are successfully addressed

Every US state that has legalized sports gambling has used a portion of its tax revenue on gambling addiction programs. This is a logical component of the larger gambling ecosystem and needs to be monitored, as is alcohol and drug addiction. Neither Freeman-Smith nor Vorderer believe that gambling addiction programs are unnecessary, and both support strict guidelines for problem gambling. Freeman-Smith admits that more people have come forward to seek help with their gambling problems, which is a good sign that government programs are working. However, the input shows that gambling has not turned the world upside down as some had imagined.

However, Illinois numbers could change as more data is compiled. However, Illinois has an ever-evolving relationship with online sports betting registrations, and access to online registrations is always followed by a surge in registrations. In addition, the state is poised to expand its sports betting options, which could also attract more attention. Another mental health expert, Leyden Family Service, and Bruce Sewick, CEO of the SHARE program, point out that they are waiting to receive more data from the state to determine if additional regulations are needed, adding, that Illinois is currently on “uncharted territory”. He claims, “When this thing comes out, we’ll find out more.”

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