Is Massachusetts Currently Battling This Addiction?
When it comes to the serious matter of addiction, there are several different types that fall under the two main categories of behavioral addictions and substance-use disorders. And some are obviously worse than others.
There are people all over the globe who, on a daily basis, battle drug addiction, alcohol addiction, sex addiction, food/eating addiction, exercise addiction, and even shopping addiction, believe it or not, just to name a few.
And then there's another form of addiction and it's one that I'm familiar with because I suffered through a brief (thankfully!) spell. I'm referring to gambling addiction which sometimes gets overlooked but it is one of the most serious behavioral addictions.
There was a period of time when I was in my mid-twenties when I was seriously addicted to scratch tickets. It might sound like I'm making a joke but trust me, I'm not. The addiction itself probably lasted more than a year, but there was a stretch of about two months where I blew over $6,000 on scratch-offs.
That may not sound like a lot of money to some, but for me it absolutely was. And that was probably the first wake-up call that I needed to seek help and so I eventually did. Now I don't even buy the things because I don't want to risk reawakening the BEAST.
In August of 2022, state lawmakers legalized sports betting in Massachusetts. In January of this year, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks began operations and in March, online betting took off. How much did this affect, if at all, gambling addiction in Massachusetts?
The personal finance experts at WalletHub decided to take a look recently at the most gambling-addicted states and as always, the results were somewhat surprising. Utilizing data from numerous metrics including the number of adults with gambling disorders, casinos and/or gaming machines per capita, lottery sales per capita, etc., WalletHub came up with their report.
Here are the top 10 Most Gambling-Addicted States for 2023 according to WalletHub:
- South Dakota
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Hey, look at that. No mention of the Bay State. That's a good thing, right? Now let's look at the top 5 Least Gambling-Addicted States for 2023:
Wait a minute, no mention of Massachusetts there, either. Hmm. Where did the Commonwealth end up in the rankings? It turns out that Massachusetts ended up right in the middle. Out of the 50 states, Massachusetts was ranked #25th! Room for improvement of course, but overall, not too shabby.
Do yourself a favor and take a look for yourself at where each state ranked and why. It's a great study which is what we've come to expect from WalletHub. Click here to go to their website and check it out.