This Episode features three experts uniquely qualified to speak about the gambling industry, addiction, and recovery: Dr. Timothy Fong, Jack O'Donnell, and Arnie Wexler.
In 2018 the Supreme Court overturned a federal law that had blocked sports gambling, putting legalization in the hands of each state. Currently, 30 states and Washington, D.C. have made it legal. About 100 million people can now make wagers from their homes and on their phones. The landscape is changing quickly.
For many, gambling offers a harmless and entertaining diversion from everyday life. For others, the simple act of placing a bet is a very different experience. When does gambling become problematic for a person? Who is at risk? Three guests share their insights as we talk about the changing terrain of sports betting, the proliferation of advertising, gambling addiction, suicide, integrity in sports, and finding resources for help.
Dr. Fong is a Professor of Psychiatry, board-certified in Addiction Psychiatry, at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. He is the director of the UCLA Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship, a one-year program that provides clinical training in the management of addictive disorders, and the co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program.
Jack O’Donnell is the CEO of C4 Recovery Foundation. C4 is a non-profit that advocates and develops policy, treatment systems, and educates on addiction and behavioral health issues throughout the world. Prior to joining C4 he was CEO of two private treatment facilities.
For 26 years prior to entering the addiction field, Jack was a successful executive in the casino gaming industry. He was President and COO for Merv Griffin and Donald Trump in Atlantic City. He also developed 5 casino projects for his own company in four states and Greece.
Arnie Wexler is a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor and was the Executive Director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey for eight years. His book, "All Bets Are Off. Losers, Liars and Recovery," provides a revealing picture of how compulsive gambling ravages the lives of both the addict and those around him or her. It is also an inspiring story of hope and healing for anyone affected by problem gambling. Arnie placed his last bet on April 10, 1968.