All over the country, ways to legally gamble are expanding.
Texas hasn’t been isolated from this situation, as there are talks in the state legislature about authorizing commercial casinos and/or legalizing sports betting. Even if that doesn’t happen, Texans still have access to legal gambling through the Texas lottery and a tribal casino in Eagle Pass.
Several bordering states, like Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, offer a much more expansive gambling industry too.
For that reason, it’s important for Texas residents to understand the issue of compulsive gambling and the resources available for people with that problem. If the state does expand legal gambling options for its citizens, this education becomes far more crucial.
Here is a rundown of the resources available in the Lone Star State, and the best ways to address the issue as gambling expands there.
This term has a little different meaning depending on which side of the gaming transaction you’re on.
For gambling companies, this means not taking advantage of people with compulsive issues. Gambling companies do this by:
Most of the onus for playing responsibly, however, falls upon gamblers’ shoulders. Ways to play responsibly include:
Simply put, this is when gambling becomes a problem. This can look very different from one person to the next. Even if an individual doesn’t gamble away all their money, they may still have a compulsive gambling issue. If it interferes with their life in any negative way, that’s a gambling problem.
Compulsive gambling issues can affect anyone. The problem doesn’t discriminate based on age, education, gender, race, or wealth. For that reason, there is no shame in having a compulsive gambling issue, only in not seeking assistance when that becomes the case.
Like with most other compulsive behaviors, there are some common signs that point toward an issue. For gambling, these include:
If any of those symptoms sound typical of you or someone you know, the best thing to do is to seek assistance. Many people with compulsive gambling issues have been able to establish healthy habits and control their impulses in this area with help.
Since there are so few legal gambling avenues in Texas in comparison to many other states, the state doesn’t provide a lot of social services in this regard.
However, that doesn’t mean Texans with this issue are on their own. There are resources available not just for those with compulsive gambling issues but their family and friends as well. The resources include:
Hopefully, if the state government does expand legal gambling, it will also expand services for responsible gambling. This might include a voluntary self-exclusion program and state standards for advertising.
Until then, this is the state of responsible gambling in the Lone Star State.