Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health, Science & Tech
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

More Pennsylvanians Seek Help With Online Gambling Addiction

gambling_addiction_casino.jpg
Wayne Perry
/
AP
This Feb. 10, 2020 photo shows a slot machine that just paid off a $98 win in a secure room at the Hard Rock casino in Atlantic City N.J.

The popularity of internet-based gambling in Pennsylvania has taken off as the pandemic caused casinos to shutdown. But online gambling addiction may be rising as well. In January, Pennsylvania saw more than $80 million in revenues from internet-based gambling. That’s the most in a single month since it was legalized several years ago

Josh Ercole, Chief Operating Officer at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA Inc., says calls for help with internet-based gambling addiction, which includes online sports betting, are on the rise. 

“The past year has just been incredible,” Ercole says. 

A year ago, just 5% of calls concerned internet-based gambling addiction but by the end of the year, it was much higher, he says. 

“In December of 2020, we saw the highest rates, 50% of calls were either sports or internet total, so just an absolutely tremendous shift,” he says.  

In years past, he says, most people were seeking help with an addiction to slot gambling

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month. For more information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem and to find treatment options call 1-800-GAMBLER.

 

Read more from our partners, WLVR.