Experts say online sports betting has spiked calls to the Michigan gambling hotline

Online sports betting became legal in January of this year, and calls to the Michigan Gambling Hotline increased. 

Experts say then, those calls were from people who misunderstood the point of the hotline. 

"They think problem gambling means they're having a problem with the website or how they are gambling or the game, " said Lori Mello, Program Manager of the Michigan Problem Gambling treatment program. 

Now she says the calls they receive are legitimate. 

"We are seeing an increase in isolation, depression which is leading toward gambling," says Mello. 

Alia Lucas, a Program specialist of the gambling prevention and treatment services, says, "Since we’ve been in the midst of the pandemic you’re now in the home, you are minimizing activity, there's increase accessability to ways you didn't have access before."

Counselors say they want you to know that help is available. 

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the Michigan Gmabling Hotline at 1800-270-7117.