The city of Jacksonville is seemingly split within the gambling related communities as the introduction of an almost certain new Regency-area poker room is due to be established. Gambling addiction support groups and also community leaders are not pleased by the idea of a new poker room and believe that it will have negative repercussions on players.
The state of Florida has many gambling addiction support groups, with members citing that card games are the second most frequent cause of financial woes. This is further backed by reports and studies from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, with slot machines taking first place.
It is further propelled by the glamorization of the sport via Blackjack and Texas Hold’em shows which are causing television to become a part of the blame, according to Brian Kongsvik, an employee of the Florida Council help line.
“At any given time of the day or night you can turn on one of the sports channels and there’s going to be a tournament on,” Kongsvik said.
Kongsvik also stated that he believes the removal of state-mandated limits has also aided in adding a more seductive coating to the game, causing more players to win it big and also lose big.
Sal, a 74-year-old recovering addict, offers counselling to other anonymous gamblers and said that he hears more and more complaints over the change in poker resulting in heavier losses. He also stated that Gamblers Anonymous is not looking to try and remove all gambling establishments, but more betting options are having a serious effect on addiction levels.
“We gamble to gamble,” said Sal, who quit his gambling escapades after running up $50,000 in debt over 27 years ago. “It does not make a difference to us compulsive gamblers. “
The skill and determination in poker has become its main grip on addiction, according to national council President Keith Whyte, who states that it is pushing gamblers to be persistent.
“It can encourage them to stay at the table to beg, borrow or steal enough money to chase that loss,” Whyte said. “Some of the behaviors we see among problem gamblers can be magnified at the poker table.”
Jim Kilpatrick, an executive directory for Jacksonville’s trinity Rescue Mission believes that addictions is an increasingly problem, one that must be addressed soon. His main role is to analyse potential addictive concerns and address them as soon as possible.
“We have seen the impact on women and children who have been left homeless because of the effects of financial mismanagement because of addiction in their households,” Kilpatrick said. “We are focused on helping others overcome addictions and we believe our community would be best served by tackling these tough problems instead of potentially reinforcing them.”
Source: Jacksonville News