Advocates fear launch of online gambling in Connecticut will aggravate gambling issues

Advocates worry the soft launch of online gambling in Connecticut this week will worsen gambling issues.
Starting Tuesday afternoon, several thousand people will be allowed to sign up for online gambling in Connecticut.
That means residents can bet without leaving home and will no longer have to drive to a casino.
Advocates worry that will cause the number of people with gambling problems to spike and aggravate things those who already face these issues.
The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling says temptation will be everywhere for gambling addicts.
“If you live within 40 miles of a casino, the odds double you are going to have a problem with gambling,” says Diana Goode, of the Council on Problem Gambling. “Now you don't have to make any effort, it is right on your phone. We think that is going to be a problem for a lot of people.”
The new apps will give consumers the ability to limit the amount of time and money they spend, but those tools are controlled by the player.
Goode says the Council on Problem Gambling has advocated for more funding, so it is able to have people answering help lines seven days a week for those in need.
One suggestion the council gives to gamblers is to plan before venturing online.
“Set a financial limit and say, ‘I am not going to go past that financial limit,’” Goode says. “Set a time limit and say, ‘I am not going to gamble past my time limit.’”
This is one in a series of big changes to gambling in the state. Less than two weeks ago, casinos began sport gambling, and the plan is to expand that to a number of bars and restaurants.