According to a study conducted by the Rutgers School of Social Work, it is estimated that one to three percent of adults in the United States suffer from a gambling disorder. In New Jersey, the situation is much worse, as the state ranks in the top three states with the highest percentage of disordered gamblers among adults.
While the act of gambling in itself is not inherently destructive, developing a habit of gambling can quickly lead to a gambling disorder, which has been shown to lead to a range of mental, health, and socioeconomic issues for those affected. In many cases, these consequences of disordered gambling lead to high rates of substance abuse, bankruptcy, and even suicide.
As gambling becomes more accessible, the rate of disordered gambling has been shown to increase. With the legalization of sports gambling in New Jersey, these numbers are expected to rise yet again, which can have a grave impact on the rate of disordered gamblers throughout the state.
IGT Partners with FanDuel to Offer Sports Betting at the Meadowlands Racetrack
In recent news, International Game Technology (IGT), a worldwide leader in gaming solutions, has partnered with FanDuel Group, an American fantasy sports provider, to open up a sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack. This brings unparalleled accessibility to sports gambling in the Meadowlands, as it marks the first time a sportsbook will be on the same property as an NFL franchise.
In its first weekend alone, the sportsbook saw more than $1 million wagered, with over $560,000 in wagers coming in the first 13 hours since opening. While these numbers are staggering, there is great anticipation at the Meadowlands sportsbook for the opening weekend of the NFL season, which is likely to draw massive crowds to the Meadowlands Racetrack.
The Potential for Elevated Rates of Disordered Gambling
Even before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to lift the 1992 federal ban on sports gambling, New Jersey had one of the highest rates of disordered gambling in the country. Now that sports betting is in full swing in the Meadowlands, and across the state of New Jersey, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is expecting a steep increase in gambling, which creates the potential for more individuals to suffer from disordered gambling in the upcoming months and years.
When A Loved One Develops A Gambling Disorder
If you notice a loved one developing a gambling habit, keep an eye out for signs that their hobby may be turning into a disorder. Asking for personal loans or help paying bills is one of the first signs of a gambling disorder, while an increase in alcohol consumption or substance use is a severe sign of a problem.
For help overcoming a gambling disorder, check out the resources available at https://800gambler.org/ or contact the free, confidential helpline 800-GAMBLER at any time.