REPORT: Florida Among ‘Least Addicted’ Gambling States, No. 41 of 50
By NANCY SMITH, SUNSHINE STATE NEWS // April 26, 2017
most addicted state: Nevada
(SUNSHINE STATE NEWS) – Maybe it’s the extraordinary variety of entertainment in the Sunshine State, but a new report actually shows Florida has one of the lowest rates in the country for gambling addiction.
The personal finance website WalletHub ranks Florida No. 41 of 50 states in a scale of “most addicted” to “least addicted.”
What, you wonder, are the top five “most addicted” states? If you thought 1) Nevada, 2) South Dakota, 3) Montana, 4) West Virginia and 5) Mississippi, you would be correct. The “least addicted” state in the nation is Florida’s neighbor, Alabama.
WalletHub’s data set of 15 key metrics ranges from presence of illegal gambling operations to lottery sales per capita, to share of adults with gambling disorders.
Happily, Florida is 50th — dead last, or lowest, which is the best it can be — in the percentage of adults with gambling disorders.
And a statistic that might surprise you: The Florida Lottery isn’t even in the top five in “lottery sales per capita.”
But Florida ranks a dismal 31st in “gambling friendliness” — a number that could change quickly after the gambling compact with the Seminole Tribe is rewritten and the law changes — if it changes — to allow slot machines at pari-mutel facilities in counties that approve them.
The gambling bill is still a piece of fluid legislation, but both chambers are working ferociously to reach a compromise.
The organization No Casinos, as always, is opposing the expansion of slot machines in the Sunshine State. It points to a Mason-Dixon Poll that suggests 84 percent of Florida voters want either to keep gambling opportunities as they are now or reduce them.
Gambling, incidentally, exists in every state, even Hawaii and Utah, where it’s prohibited by law. For context, WalletHub generally takes a dim view of gambling expansion.
Data used to create WalletHub’s ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Gaming Association, RubinBrown, National Council on Problem Gambling, North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pew Charitable Trusts, TVG, ESPN, Gamblers Anonymous and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Dr. Jay S. Albanese.
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