ALBANY, GA (WALB) –
After more than 60 law enforcement agents raided Valdosta area businesses in search of evidence of illegal gambling Wednesday, experts are discussing the effects machines at convenience stores and other places can have on those with addictions.
Some psychologists said gambling schemes are designed in very addicting ways. The convenience of the machines can make it harder to recover from an addiction, which can be harmful to a persons family, finances or overall well being.
They add that some psychological associations have only recently classified the issue as a physical addiction.
Officials at the Georgia Council on Problem Gambling said as machines are taken off the streets and technology advances, more people are going online to gamble.
“The ease of access. They are all over the place,” Nick Carden, an Albany area psychologist, said, referring to the gambling machines. “The other thing is, unfortunately, some of the places that house these things are using them illegally. So, people are getting money back instead of what its really intended for.”
Officials at the Georgia Council on Problem Gambling said the majority of calls they receive on their help hotline are related to convenience store machines or online sports gambling.
If you or someone you know is in need of gambling help, they can call a 24 hour hotline free of charge.
The Georgia Council of Problem Gambling Addiction Help Line is staffed with trained specialists.
You can reach them by calling 888-236-4848.
Note: For help in Ohio, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966.