(WTNH) — Sports betting officially launched in two Connecticut casinos Thursday. Soon, it will be available online or on an app, and that has prompted concerns about people who have gambling problems or who could develop gambling problems.
The state has launched a portal that allows people to self-exclude themselves from participating in sports betting. It’s called the self-exclusion list. It completely bans you from online gaming and you won’t receive marketing materials to gamble.
You can find it through the Department of Consumer Protection. You can sign up for one year, five years or a lifetime.
“It’s just a good way to recognize that not everyone can do this in a way that they have control over the situation. So we want to have tools available so that people can really protect themselves,” said Michelle Seagull, commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection.
Both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods already have self-exclusion programs that allow people with gambling problems to fill out a form so that the casinos keep them off the property. DraftKings and FanDuel will also allow gamblers to set time or duration limits and will let gamblers know just how long they’ve been on those sites.
Diana Goode, executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling, said they believe there are around 100,000 people in the state who are problem gamblers.
The council isn’t for or against sports betting but it does want to make sure there are safeguards so this new entertainment doesn’t become a new addiction. They believe the process of self-exclusion should be a one-stop registration.
“In our opinion, it doesn’t make sense to be able to exclude yourself from online and then go to Foxwoods and then go to Mohegan Sun,” Goode said.
“Before online gambling, if you lived within 40 miles of the casino, the odds doubled that you are going to become an addictive gambler and now as of today, everyone has a casino in their house, so that really is a problem,” Goode said.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a gambling addiction, call the national helpline at 1 (800) 522-4700.
You can also take advantage of the following resources:
- The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling offers trained Helpline Specialists who connect callers to free, immediate support & treatment options in Connecticut – Online live chat service or call (888) 789-7777
- The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
- Problem Gambling Services – (860) 344-2244
- The National Problem Gambling Helpline is available at (800) 522-4700
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Gam-Anon is a self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of compulsive gamblers