One-third of callers to Massachusetts problem gambling helpline are seeking tech support for betting apps

One-third of callers to Massachusetts problem gambling helpline are seeking tech support for betting apps

Article brief provided by State House News Service
  • Colin A. Young, State House News Service
May 18, 2024 2:43 PM
  • Colin A. Young, State House News Service

The state’s problem gambling helpline saw a big jump in calls in the months after Massachusetts launched legal sports betting last year, but a public health official said Wednesday that most of that increase was due to calls from bettors mistakenly thinking they could get technical help with their betting apps.

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The Department of Public Health said the (800) 327-5050 helpline received 3,050 calls in fiscal year 2023, which included the first five months of legal betting. That’s an increase of 1,672 calls or 121% over the 1,378 calls received in fiscal 2022.

Victor Ortiz, director of DPH’s Office of Problem Gambling Services, told the Public Health Council on Wednesday morning that one-third of the calls the helpline got were “non-helpline calls.”