By Juan Baez, BA, LAC, KCGC, IGDC, on behalf of the National Hispanic and Latino ATTC
During this time of available betting expansion, it’s important to discuss problem gambling and how it can destroy the lives of individuals and families.
In recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, it’s important to note the factors that make problem gambling unique compared to substance use disorders or other problematic behaviors. These are imperative to know when working with and educating people with gambling problems and or disorder. As a Latino community, it’s essential to talk about what those differences are and how we can better serve our people.
According to the United States Census, there are approximately 62 million Latinos. This makes us a significant part of this country’s fabric, and essential to its success. Latinos come from or have roots in places such as Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. Even in various countries and regions, the culture, language, and availability of gambling are diverse. It’s important to identify those distinctions. It can be a matter of simply asking questions and practicing cultural humility to educate ourselves and others.
There is a lot of discussion around the terminology of how to address us. Different terms like Latinos, Hispanics, Latinx, and others exist. It is essential to allow us to self-identify and meet us where we are at. This includes how Latinos with a gambling problem identify themselves.
There are many types of gambling activities in the United States. These include slot machines, table and card games, lotteries, sports betting, bingo, and animal racing. However, there are other non-traditional forms of gambling in Latino countries. It’s important to know the differences that exist and what types of gambling Latinos engage in.