TAMPA, Fla. – With the introduction of the Seminole Tribe’s sports betting app in Florida, addiction specialists are concerned about the potential impact it could have on gambling addicts. Forrest Arthur, a Tampa Bay addiction specialist, expressed his worries about the ease of access to sports betting leading to a spike in gambling addiction cases.
“It is being made so easy and pushed on people, so aggressively there’s inevitably going to be more trouble from it,” Arthur explained. Experts also warn that easy access to sports betting may not be good for people who struggle with addiction.
The Seminole Tribe relaunched its mobile betting app on Tuesday, but it is currently only available to pre-existing users. This re-launch has raised concerns about the potential negative effects it may have on those struggling with gambling addiction.
Arthur, the CEO of Resurgence Tampa Bay, an abuse treatment facility, emphasized the difficulties of overcoming gambling addiction, stating that it often requires years of complete abstinence from gambling. The Responsible Gaming Council added that problem gambling affects the brain’s reward system, leading to a loss of control.
“I’ve seen people give up their homes, families, and their health,” Arthur shared. “Imagine the opioid addict addicted to fentanyl who’s trying to recover, they have to work around, with fentanyl in their pocket, it’s not going to work,” he added.
Signs of gambling addiction can include sudden financial issues, changes in behavior, and lying to friends and family. Arthur urged individuals to take gambling addiction seriously and to recognize the need for dramatic action to avoid worsening the situation.
The launch of the Seminole Tribe’s mobile betting app has sparked concerns over the potential impact it could have on individuals struggling with gambling addiction. As easy access to sports betting becomes more prevalent, experts and addiction specialists are urging individuals to be aware of the signs of gambling addiction and to seek help if needed.