KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gambling addiction looks different now that sports betting is legal in Arizona

Sports betting went live in Arizona a year and a half ago, and the numbers are staggering. In July 2022, which marked one year of legalized gaming, the state reported Arizonans had already wagered over $5 billion. And this year? January alone saw nearly $600 million in bets.

At the same time, the numbers for gambling addiction are startling. The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates around 2 million Americans meet the criteria for pathological gambling, with another 4-6 million having some form of milder gambling problem.

Rick Benson is the founder and director of Algamus Gambling Treatment Services in Prescott. The Show spoke with him more about this rise in problem gambling over the last two years — and what he is seeing in his practice.

More stories from KJZZ

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.