Florida Gambling may be big money with some misguided concepts

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Florida has a Division of Business and Professional Regulations which collects a total of $2 Million from the 8 Racetrack Casinos for the expressed purpose of providing Compulsive Gambling Programming.

With an estimated 116,791(1.1%) of adults believed to presently have signs of a gambling problem, which is most likely an under estimate for the 4th ranked revenue state at $7.03 billion reported Florida is an interesting state to look at. This revenue comes from 19,462 electronic machines, 14 Indian Casinos, 8 Racetrack Casinos, Pari-mutual wagering, a state lottery and Charity gambling.

The state ranks 26th in funding at a 3 cents per capita contribution from the state and 9 cents from the Nonprofit FCCG (Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling.  Florida’s Division of Business and Professional Regulation Collects $2 million total from the 8 Racetrack Casinos ($250,000 x 8) specifically to fund programs for Compulsive Gambling and contracts with FCCG for $600,000 for the operation of a hotline, responsible gambling programing at the racetrack casinos, problem gambling awareness and prevention activities. The majority of the 2013 budget ($2.35 Million) for FCCG came from grants provided by tribal Governments operating 14 casinos in the state ($1.75 Million). 

Florida’s FCCG is one of the largest state affiliate of the National Council on Compulsive Gambling. It has this distinction in large part due to Budget, Staffing, and scope of services they are responsible for. Florida handled calls to the Problem Gambling Hotline for Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina in addition to 3,957 Florida callers in 2012. 

As a recovering Compulsive Gambler it is concerning that part of the trainings are referred to as ‘responsible gambling programing’.  Having heard from compulsive gamblers in Florida that they are encouraged to ‘manage’ the gambling, skepticism should be taken in that respect.  If someone is calling because of a problem gambling this gives a false impression that it can be done without returning to the addictive state.  Just as an alcoholic cannot drink and a drug addict cannot use in that manner, a gambler cannot return even a little to the gambling.  Research and personal experiences have shown this to be true.

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