Sports Wagering, Mobile Sports Betting Raise Odds of Problem Gambling

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BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health warns that the increased availability of sports wagering in the state may lead some residents to develop a gambling problem. 

Additionally, Gov. John Bel Edwards has proclaimed March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Louisiana, coinciding with National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. The month-long observance promotes awareness of the resources available to those experiencing problems associated with gambling.

“Problem gambling touches the lives of all it affects — not just those with a gambling problem, but also their family and friends who want to help them conquer their disorder. The mental and emotional struggle to find healing takes a toll, but nobody has to face it alone. Louisianans can find help at no cost through the Louisiana Department of Health’s Office of Behavioral Health,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “With the Problem Gamblers Helpline, counseling and treatment programs provided statewide by regional human services districts, the Office of Behavioral Health is ready to provide assistance. Take that first step toward recovery, and remember: you are not alone.” 

Problem gambling includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. As many as 280,000 Louisiana adults may be involved in problem gambling, according to a 2016 study conducted by OBH.

Signs and symptoms of problem gambling include:

  • The need to be secretive about your gambling
  • Spending more time gambling than intended
  • Gambling when you don’t have the money
  • Withdrawing from family and friends, because of gambling

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of problem gambling, go to ldh.la.gov/problem gambling.

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