Lawmakers pitch Addictive Gambling Prevention Program expansion

Man gambling at the craps table
Demand for the program has grown since its launch in 2005.

Florida may soon double down on a state-funded gambling prevention program under new legislation proposed Monday.

The bill (HB 405) would expand the promotion of Florida’s (888)-ADMIT-IT Helpline to all 67 counties. Helpline advertising is presently limited to Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

The measure would also cut a slice of revenue from Florida Lottery ticket sales and redirect those dollars toward the Compulsive and Addictive Gambling Prevention Program.

Longwood Republican Rep. Scott Plakon is the bill sponsor.

“It has been over 20 years since we first acknowledged our obligation to mitigate the effects and adverse impacts upon our state resulting from the various regulated forms of gambling we allow in our state,” Plakon said. “I began working on the problem of addictive gambling when I was first elected in 2008. We are long overdue in making sure our state prevention program meets the needs of our state in 2021 and beyond.”

The proposal comes after state leaders struck a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida in April. The deal, among other provisions, expanded online sports betting in Florida.

Plakon’s bill would reassign oversight of the Compulsive and Addictive Gambling Prevention Program to the newly created Florida Gaming Control Commission under the Office of the Florida Attorney General. The program is currently supervised by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Republican Sen. Dennis Baxley is sponsoring the measure in the Senate. Democratic Rep. Tracie Davis, meanwhile, is a House co-sponsor.

“As gaming continues to expand in Florida it’s important that we care for the impacts that problem gambling has for families,” Baxley said. “It’s time to update our mitigation systems.”

In a news release, Plakon said the measure would help the program better meet a long-growing demand. Demand for the program, he added, has grown since 2005.

The 2022 Legislative Session begins Jan. 11.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704