Addiction experts are squirming at the thought of gambling addicts now being able to place bets without even getting out of their pajamas. The temptations will be even harder for gambling addicts to resist now that internet gambling in New Jersey launches this month.
Arnie Wexler, former head of New Jersey’s Council on Compulsive Gambling, told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller, “You don’t have to go no place. You wake up in the middle of the night, you have an urge to gamble, you’re in your birthday suit and you get on the Internet and you gamble.”
All hope is not lost for addicts who want to overcome gambling addictions, however.
New Jersey already allows people to add themselves to a self-exclusion list that prohibits them from entering all of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, reported NJ.com. Now, New Jersey is extending this list to include online betting.
According to the state Gaming Enforcement Division, people who are already on the exclusion list for the 12 casinos do not have to do anything to be included on the online list, but people can also sign up for an online gambling ban only.
But Wexler, along with other experts, fears the list will not stop an addicted gambler.
“I know many people that were in recovery or put their name on the exclusion list that are in casinos gambling today,” he told Miller.
People can ban themselves for one-year or five-year terms. If they sneak into a casino or find a way to place an online bet and win within that time frame, their winnings are subject to forfeiture, said NJ.com.
People who believe they may have a gambling problem and wish to include themselves on the exclusion list can sign up online or in person at any of the offices of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement located across the state.
New Jersey also provides funding for education and treatment programs for people with a gambling problem. The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey can be contacted for information about those programs.
The hotline for people who think they may have a gambling problem is 1-800-GAMBLER. People can call and get more information about the addiction and potential solutions to overcome it.