Michigan Gambling Helpline Sees Spike In Callers

Thanks to bipartisan support, Governor Gretchen Whitmer was able to sign into law a bill that would legalize online gambling and sports betting in 2019.

According to statistics provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, calls to the Michigan gambling helpline averaged between 100 and 300 per month in the same year. In February, the first full month after online gaming became available, they surpassed 500. In March, the most recent month for which data was available, they remained strong.

"Casinos are at limited capacity right now because of the pandemic," Michelle Malkin, a Ph.D. candidate studying problem gambling at Michigan State University's school of justice. said. She continued, "The only thing that could really[explain] this is the growth of online gambling. Because that's really the only big change that's happened in Michigan."

Residents of Michigan can communicate with counselors and recovery services by calling 1-800-270-7117, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can also learn about the symptoms of problem gambling and how to avoid it.

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