Desperate Floridians turning to blackjack

Feb. 23, 2009 at 11:49 AM
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The head of the Florida's compulsive gambling council says a growing number of state residents are attempting to recoup personal losses through blackjack.

Council head Pat Fowler said since blackjack was made legal in Florida last year, the state's gambling help line has seen a rise in callers who describe how the card game has helped destroy their lives, The Miami Herald said.

Fowler said many of these individuals appeared to have turned to blackjack to supplement their income during the ongoing economic crisis.

"They saw it as a possibility of funding those shortfalls," she told the Herald. "Of course, that doesn't make sense, because certainly one has to know you're more apt to lose when you gamble than win.''

The percentage of people seeking addiction assistance for blackjack in January sat at 43 percent, compared with the 9 percent who tabbed the card game for their woes a year earlier.

The Herald said the state's gambling help line, 888-ADMIT-IT, received 275 calls in January, a nearly 16 percent increase compared with figures from a year ago.

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