As the Louisiana legislature puts the finishing touches on legalized fantasy sports betting, gambling opponents are more concerned than ever about a growing population of gambling addicts. They say it's worse than the opioid crisis and extremely expensive.
Family Forum President Gene Mills says between casinos, video poker, OTB parlors and fantasy sports coming on, there's a quite a selection out there.
Mills cites figures that show Louisiana could have over a quarter million problem gamblers, and some, he says, are in worse shape than others.
''Pathological gamblers, and that's the ones whose problem rises to the levels that it disrupts finances, businesses and families and it's not unlike the opioid addiction,'' Mills said.
He says the bills are coming due.
''Addicted adults cost the state in excess of $4 billion, it's rapidly growing and the tax revenues are eaten up in the tremendous expenses of so many addicts,'' said Mills.
Mills says if it hadn't been for a supportive family and other means, Senator Karen Carter Peterson was well on her way to the worst that can happen to a gambling addict and she admitted that before the legislature revealing her addiction.