PA Survey Shows Younger Generation More Exposed To Problem Gambling
- State sponsored survey shows problem gambling numbers increasing
- Problem gambling numbers in younger generation nearly double
- 1-800-GAMBLER help line getting a strong response
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has made it mandatory for all licensed operators to promote its 1-800-GAMBLER help line, so that players are always aware that they can call and find help if they are battling gambling addiction symptoms.
Problem Gambling Survey Results
Every year, a survey is carried out on the total number of calls the 1-800-GAMBLER help line gets to measure the effectiveness of the help line and see if problem gambling numbers are increasing.
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania (CCGP) has complied data which has shown that problem gambling numbers are on the rise in the Keystone state. This does not come as a huge surprise as Pennsylvania has witnessed a significant increase in gambling revenues as its online gambling and sports betting markets have witnessed a surge in the last 12 months.
The results showed that in 2020, a total of 1,115 calls came in while 2021 recorded a total of 2,090 calls which was an 87.4 percent increase. This is not the total number of calls but just calls directly related to problem gambling. The total number of calls that came in during 2021 was 16,680.
Josh Ercole, executive director for the CCGP said a lot of new players started engaging in online gambling and sports betting activities in 2021 and some of them ended up getting in over their heads. This is one of the reasons why the 800-GAMBLER help line exists.
Younger Players Struggling
The survey results showed that players between 18-24 made a total of 241 calls in 2021 when compared to 94 calls in 2020, a 156.4 percent increase; players between 25-34 made a total of 468 calls in 2021 when compared to 254 calls in 2020, a 84.2 percent increase; players between 35-44 made a total of 388 calls in 2021 when compared to 185 calls in 2020, a 109.7 percent increase.
The most number of problem gambling related calls was related directly to slot machines (408), followed by calls related to online gambling (407) and third on the list was sports betting (221).