NEW STUDY: Mississippi ranks in top 5 for most gambling-addicted - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

NEW STUDY: Mississippi ranks in top 5 for most gambling-addicted states

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A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT
A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT
A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT
A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT A new study puts MS in the top 5 for most gambling-addicted states. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Gambling is a popular pastime in Mississippi, but it can also pose serious problems.

WalletHub's latest study puts Mississippi as the fourth most gambling-addicted state in the country. Mississippi ties it up for the top spot of highest percentage of adults with gambling disorders on the study.

To view the WalletHub study, click HERE.

Certified compulsive gambling counselor Stuart Milan at The Ranch in Brandon says the problem has dominoed since casinos opened in the state in the early 90's.

"In Mississippi, there's a gamblers anonymous meeting at least once a day in the state," said Milan. "So, right there, tells you the problems real."

People we spoke with say they've seen the vicious cycle at work.

"I see how it affects them but it affects everyone around them too," said Rev. Charles Brown. "I preach and I teach against gambling because I know how it can destroy a family."

"It is an addiction," confirmed Milan. "It is an illness. People can't stop on their own. It's very rare to see someone stop on their own."

The Mississippi Gaming Commission has a stop measure called self-exclusion in place. But it takes the gambler admitting their problem.

"You can exclude yourself from the casino for either five years or lifetime," said Milan. "If you break that exclusion, meaning if you go back into the casino or the property, you actually get arrested. And I've seen many people get arrested for it."

But Milan says it's not the only answer, especially with the widened availability to gaming.

"When people self-exclude, you don't exclude from online," added Milan. "I've seen people who excluded, went up into their bedroom and just gambled that way and just recreated the problem. I've seen that more than once."

Gambling addiction treatment isn't covered by insurance. That complicates matters since addicts find themselves in a tough financial situation due to their gambling habits.

The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling notes that they were not contacted by WalletHub for statistics and have questions about where the data originated for the study.

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