First and foremost, the FCCG would like to pass on gratitude for those that gave ALL to support our freedoms and way of life. Without the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice, we would not be the great country that we are. As we remember the valor of our country’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day, let us also be inspired by their bravery to move through the challenges facing us today.
An unprecedented pandemic has forced major changes on the world’s way of life, and many have struggled over the past few months. Emotional, mental, and financial problems are swelling. This is an especially scary time for families and individuals also suffering from the effects of problem gambling, as the additional pressures on all three of these fronts can push them to the brink. Help and hope are still available 24/7 through the 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine for ANYONE – including loved ones – suffering as a result of gambling addiction.
For those that have lost loved ones, friends, or family members in combat, or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) extends its deepest condolences. Like the heroes we reflect on today, we are resilient and will forge a path through this crisis!
Delving into the Challenges and Opportunities
Recently, the FCCG team participated in several webinars revealing new research into gambling disorder, the effects of the pandemic on the gaming industry, and more effective preventative measures for problem gambling.
On May 22, 2020, Dr. Jeffrey Derevensky presented on the issue of youth gambling, as children and adolescents are prone to developing a gambling addiction at a young age. In a recent study, 4-6% of adolescents met the criteria for gambling addiction. Dr. Derevensky recommended that prevention begin in the third grade to effectively educate youth on the risks associated with gambling and provide alternative resources.
On May 21, 2020, the FCCG attended a webinar featuring a panel of eSports operators from around the world. The panelists discussed the rapid growth of this type of gambling since the pandemic started, showing that gamblers have sought out alternate ways to bet when their go-to became unavailable. While total handle, number of gamblers, and profit for eSports operators have been up since April, all of the panelists expected to see a drop in revenue and participants once brick-and-mortar gambling facilities reopen.
For the FCCG, one of the biggest concerns with any type of online gambling is the relative ease of access for underage gamblers. As a result, we have worked to provide materials to youth, parents, and educators to raise awareness of what defines gambling and the dangers involved for children. If you are concerned about your child’s online activity and are afraid he/she may be gambling, contact Florida’s 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine.
The 888-ADMIT-IT (236-4848) Problem Gambling HelpLine is available 24/7 to assist you and provide resources if you or someone you know is negatively affected by gambling. You can also reach us by texting 321-978-0555, starting a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and connecting with us on social media.
 Derevensky, Dr. Jeffrey. “Understanding Youth Gambling: Clinical and Treatment Implications.” University of North Carolina School of Social Work. 22 May 2020, Webinar.
 Igelman, Alex, et al. “Regulated Esports Gambling: The New Frontier.” eHorizon Connect, Spectrum eSports Advisors. 21 May 2020, Webinar.