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Risk of developing gambling addiction in Texas increases

Gambling activity in Texas is growing at a time of uncertainty caused by the epidemic and the spread of the virus, says the association's executive director, pointing to the increased risk of gambling addiction.

Gambling does not solve financial problems

Janet Miller , executive director Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling said there have recently been more calls to the association's anonymous hotline about online gambling addiction or playing the lottery, noting that gambling is just a form of entertainment.

"... It is not intended to relieve pressure or make money or solve a financial problem."

Janet Miller, executive director, Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling

Contrary to this statement 70% people calling the association's anonymous hotline are trying to solve their financial problems by gambling. And the uncertainty surrounding restrictions on companies and jobs to curb the further spread of the coronavirus only exacerbates the problem.

Uncertainty and rising stress levels

As there are places that are literally closing and some that may never reopen, people are worried about their jobs, paying their bills and keeping a roof under their heads. The uncertainty resulting from the ongoing health crisis raises questions about the viability of careers and people's futures in general, and increases overall stress levels.

"When you have so much stress related to financial worries and concerns and you're married, it creates a very difficult situation.

Janet Miller, executive director, Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling

Concerns about gambling addiction raised by the association's board come at a time when there is strong speculation that legalizing casinos in the state could return to the legislative agenda. President Las Vegas Sands , a billionaire Sheldon Adelson, recently hired 8 well-known lobbyists from Austin, Texas, sparking rumors of another attempt to expand gambling in the state.

Expansion of gambling in Texas

Sheldon Adelson has also increased the lobby's budget to convince lawmakers to pass a gambling bill during the next legislative session, which will begin in January. All 7 previous attempts to legalize casinos in Texas have failed, but that won't deter the casino mogul from trying again as a new window of opportunity opens up due to the devastating impact of the virus outbreak on the economy.

Some officials argue that legalizing the casinos will help keep Texas money in the state because it currently flows out of the casinos to casinos in neighboring states, each of which has at least one land-based gaming property near the Texas. state line.

But the most decisive factor in the temptation to legislate for casinos in the Lone Star State may be the fact that Texas lawmakers are facing a deficit in of $4.6 billion and they'd probably be grasping at any straw to fill the state coffers to lower that amount, and casinos provide a funding source that may be too costly to ignore.

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