JAMESTOWN – A recovering gambler from Western New York said the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a huge blow to many young men when they lifted the federal ban on sports gambling on Monday.
“In our fellowship we are getting more of these younger guys, usually between 20-25 years old, that are doing this sports gambling that are $100,000 in debt or more,” said Ellen K. “It’s (the lifting of the ban) going to suck in a lot of people, more than it already has.”
The American Gaming Association estimated that Americans would wager $10 billion on this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament alone, with just three percent of the bets placed legally through Nevada.
A great day for the rights of states and their people to make their own decisions. New Jersey citizens wanted sports gambling and the federal Gov’t had no right to tell them no. The Supreme Court agrees with us today. I am proud to have fought for the rights of the people of NJ.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) May 14, 2018
“We (Gambler’s Anonymous) are never favor of legalized gambling, especially in this form,” Ellen said. “The kids don’t come in to Gambler’s Anonymous because they’re willing to come.”
Ellen K said her experience in recovery has revealed that young addicts are often forced into the rooms after a crisis occurs.
“They’re usually court-ordered,” she said. “Sometimes they are forced by their significant other,” she said. “Very seldom do young, compulsive gamblers walk into a meeting on their own fruition.”
The justices voted 6-3 to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law that forbade state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game.
Ellen K said there are nine meetings of Gambler’s Anonymous in Western New York.
“Our rooms could be busier,” she said. “We try to help every compulsive gambler, one step at a time, one day at a time.”
If you or somebody you know is struggling with compulsive gambling call the local chapter of Western New York’s Gambling Anonymous at 1-855-222-5542.
There’s also a website available for those seeking answers and help, simply click here to access that resource.