1-800-GAMBLER, the gambling addiction treatment group in West Virginia, is offering help to the residents during this COVID-19 crisis. The group said that now more than ever it is important for problem gamblers to know treatment is available.
Jennifer Davis-Walton, the programme’s director, said that the closure of gambling facilities may send problem gamblers into a type of emotional withdrawal.
“Problem gamblers may be depressed, and they have a high rate of suicide. They have often lost large sums of money, and they keep gambling in the hopes of recouping their losses. Although that rarely works, the hope of that win keeps them going. Now, some may feel all hope is lost,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer shared her concern that people stuck at home all day may fill their time with online gambling.
“People who are already in a vulnerable position may end up in an even worse situation,” she said.
The hotline and the online chat service, which can be accessed from 1800GAMBLER.net, will continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 crisis to offer support and treatment to problem gamblers.