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Mental health counselors watching NC sports gaming legislation



NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Sports betting is growing across the nation and people ready to legally place bets aren’t the only ones watching.

So are mental health counselors.

“These sports used to ban it, you couldn’t do it,” said Dr. Rawson Carlin, a North Carolina certified gambling addiction counselor. “But it was kind of online and black market. Now they’re endorsing it and they are going to make some profit from it.”

N.C. could be the next to cash in on sports gaming if House Bill 347 is made law.

The legislation will require two million dollars annually for the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program. Money from the NC lottery is already added to this fund, but what worries Carlin, those with a gambling addiction are getting younger. He’s already treating teenagers.

“Maybe 12-year-olds, 13-year-olds yes,” added Carlin.

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Carlin also says people he counsels have lost their homes, careers, and marriages. But there have been some in very dire situations which could lead to death, and he says more access to the dopamine hit provided by gambling could be more people to suffer, or worse.

“What will happen if a few years from now, we get 50 young people [to] commit suicide because of gambling problems,” asked Carlin. “Then is that going to get somebody’s attention, I don’t know.”

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