From September 15th to October 15th, we’re celebrating the rich history and culture of the Hispanic community during Hispanic Heritage Month. Not only is this a month-long celebration, but it’s also a time to reflect and shine a light on an issue that affects the community and other people groups around the globe and in our state — problem gambling.
The way this issue presents itself varies, whether it be through video gaming, casino betting or online gambling, the effects these behaviors have on people with a gambling addiction are generally the same. This includes trouble with mental health, finances, relationships, and more.
While this disorder impacts people worldwide, recent studies show that the expansion of sports betting could disproportionately affect Latinos, specifically men. Since the U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in 2018 that legalized sports betting in many states and overturned certain restrictions, the risk for gambling problems has increased by 50% and has enticed nearly 20 million adults to take part in these activities.
Another study explains how Hispanic participants were significantly more likely than other demographics to use and abuse substances and report mental health problems such as behavioral addictions or suicidal thoughts. While these are issues that commonly come packaged with problem gambling, there is nothing common about the way the Hispanic community has become vulnerable to these potentially harmful behaviors.
In light of this, we want to ensure the Hispanic communities in our state have access to the resources that help make recovery possible. We know the road to recovery can seem daunting when you don’t know where to start or if there is help available in your preferred language. However, there is hope — the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) has streamlined the process for you, so you don’t have to jump through hoops to get connected to proven resources for problem gambling recovery — in fact, you or your loved ones can take the first step toward healing today.
The best way to get connected with resources is to contact the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine, a place that provides live multilingual support for those whose lives have been impacted by problem gambling. This resource is available 24/7 and offers referrals to Spanish-language literature and licensed and certified gambling disorder treatment providers who are fluent in Spanish.
We want to provide you with a recovery program that meets your needs, and the HelpLine serves as a one-stop shop where you can gain access to diverse resources that are designed to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be.
While recovery isn’t easy, there are simple steps you can take to help you get on track to your new reality. While it may seem too easy, we recommend envisioning the life you could lead once you overcome the temptation of problem gambling behaviors. This will help remind you what you are striving for and why putting in the work now will be worth it in the end.
Practical steps you can take today include replacing problem behaviors with positive activities, such as getting outside for a walk, exercising, meeting up with a friend or doing something that you’re passionate about. It can be difficult to give something up when you don’t fill that space in your life with a new behavior, so pick something that makes your life feel a little brighter!
For more information on the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine and the steps FCCG is taking to make recovery possible for everyone in Florida, watch the video below:
To start your recovery journey and begin the healing process, call 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), text (321-978-0555), email (email@example.com), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), use the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or reach out on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Gnat, Jordan. The Sports Betting and Gaming Industry Must Do More to Service the U.S. Hispanic Market, https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/en/SB-Blogs/COVID19-OpEds/2022/02/18-Gnat?_sp=96597770-6461-4b89-bae9-120af5a46837.1660590503717.
- Caler, Kyle R, et al. “Problem Gambling among Ethnic Minorities: Results from an Epidemiological Study.” Asian Journal of Gambling Issues and Public Health, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5589834/#:~:text=Overall%2C%20the%20highest%20proportion%20of,ideation%20in%20the%20past%20year.