Florida gambling help line sees jump in blackjack addiction

A blackjack table at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Associated Press (2008)

A blackjack table at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

Seven months after being introduced at the Seminole Tribe's Hard Rock Casino near Hollywood, blackjack has nearly pulled even with poker as the main draw of those addicted to playing cards, according to a report by the Miami Herald.

Slot machines remain the top gambling addiction reported by Floridians.

An increasing number of callers to the state's gambling help line say their lives have been ruined by the high-stakes card game. Blackjack came to Tampa's Hard Rock Casino in November.

In January, 43 percent of card players calling for help with addiction cited blackjack as their game. A year earlier, 9 percent said they were blackjack players, and most said poker was their problem.

Nearly one call a day to the state's toll-free help line, 1-888-236-4848, is from a blackjack player. In January, a total of 275 people called the help line, up 16 percent from the previous year, the Herald reported.

The figures came from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, which runs the state's help line. For two recent six-month periods, the figures showed that slot machines are most commonly cited as a gambling problem, with card games catching up.

The percentage of callers saying they had problems with card games rose from 21 percent in the first six-month period to 34 percent in the later period.

Florida gambling help line sees jump in blackjack addiction 02/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 4:44pm]

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