Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill in April of this year to expand gambling operations in the State. The bill will allow sports gambling and will issue more gambling licenses to different tribes. Fantasy sports and betting at the horse race tracks will also be introduced. But this decision has raised some questions about a rise in the incidences of gambling addiction in the State. The North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help claims that nearly 2.6% of the US population suffers from gambling addiction at present.
Arizona is currently very low on the list of gambling-addicted states coming in at a low 41st rank. But this is because gambling is expanding in Arizona only recently. The Arizona Department of Gaming’s public information officer Max Hartgraves is responding to fears about gambling addiction by claiming that Arizona already has a gambling addiction support program in the State.
The program spreads awareness about gambling addiction and provides treatment to addicts. It also helps people with gambling addictions add their names to a list to ban them from entering any gambling establishments. But recovering addicts fear that introduction of large-scale gambling operations will add many new social and economic problems for the people of Arizona and may lead to more cases of gambling addiction.
Hartgraves and other Arizona legislators in support of the expansion of gambling facilities in the State are trying to pacify all opposition by claiming that the new legislation will have procedures and regulations to inform potential addicts about treatment. There will also be a facility for a voluntary self-exclusion list for addicts. Anyone on the list will be prevented from collecting any wins from gambling establishments in Arizona. Gaming establishments will also be required to take some precautionary measures to avoid compulsive playing among gamblers.
Arizona State has given sports gambling licenses to 10 tribes in the State. This is expected to bring in around $100 million in revenues for Arizona. But Arizona legislators are also aware of the potential pitfalls of increased gambling opportunities in the State. They are taking ample measures to ensure that sports betting and gambling will be as safe as possible for all stakeholders.