More residents are contacting the 24/7 hotline for addiction and treatment by the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services, TNBets first reported on Thursday. Since the launch of legal sports betting in the state, the requests for information regarding gambling addictions have increased.
Addiction Treatment Hotline Receives More Gambling Related Calls
Online sports betting became legal and launched in Tennessee on November 1. Currently, Tennesseans that experience addictions can contact the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and other Addiction Services. Furthermore, residents who experience gambling addiction can also contact the Association.
With that in mind, according to the association’s executive director Mary-Linden Salter, there has been an increase in the calls related to gambling. The association offers a 24/7 addiction treatment and recovery hotline called the Tennessee REDLINE.
In an interview for TN Bets, Salter confirmed that the number of residents who called the REDLINE for information regarding gambling addiction has increased. She outlined that in October 2019, there were 11 requests for information regarding gambling addiction. The number in October 2020 increased to 17. In contrast, since the launch on November 1, the requests for information regarding gambling addiction until November 9 reached 43, revealed Salter.
Sports Betting Tax Will Help the Public Sectors and Addiction Treatment Programs
Before the launch of online sports betting on November 1, the state lottery was the only legal gambling activity in Tennessee. Considering that sports betting is already live, the established taxation is expected to bring fresh tax revenue to the state’s coffers. The gross gaming revenue tax for online betting sites is set at 20%.
With that in mind, 80% of the tax will be allocated towards the Tennessee Education Lottery, according to the state bill. Some 15% of the taxes will be allocated towards the local governments to help funding of public projects such as roads, buildings, and infrastructure.
The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will receive 5% of the sports betting tax revenue and will use it towards treatment programs for people experiencing gambling addiction. The protection of Tennesseans is also available via the self-exclusion programs which many operators provide. Furthermore, given that sports betting is now legal, it is likely that the sports betting black market presence will be significantly reduced.