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Michigan Sees Spike in Problem Gambling
There’s been plenty of fanfare over the launch of Michigan online casinos since online gambling was legalized in 2021.
But what we don’t hear about too often is how online gambling has negatively affected some Wolverine natives. With the launch of online gambling, state officials needed to come up with a plan to problem gambling support to those who might suffer from Michigan’s relaxed gambling laws.
The Problem Gambling Hotline received 4,400 calls in 2021 (three times the amount of calls received the year before). The spike was partially attributed to online gambling launching that year, but the spike has also been attributed to the pandemic and rises in social isolation, depression, and other mental health issues.
Some of the $20.5 million in Michigan tax revenue was earmarked for problem gambling programs.
The state also made plans to address the increase in problem gambling during the Gambling Disorder Symposium (held on March 3rd and 4th this year). The symposium invited experts on problem gambling and addiction.
The state also plans to expand its problem gambling program, as the launch of online gambling has created the need for new ways to tackle gambling addiction.