BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Randy Livingston is a well-known face in Louisiana. He was recognized as the national high school player of the year in 1993, played at LSU for two seasons and spent more than a decade in the NBA. Now, Livingston is coaching for Newman High School varsity basketball in New Orleans.
But his time in the pros wasn’t so bright. He was facing battles off the court, losing millions to gambling.
“I would go on the casino boats at 17 years old,” said Randy Livingston, a recovered gambling addict and former NBA player. “My career earning was probably two or three million, but whatever I earned I fed my gambling addiction. It was tough, you deal with guilt, stigma.”
Livingston battled a gambling addiction for nearly a decade. He said there was very little help from the league when confronting his addiction.
Capital Area Human Services (CAHS) gambling counselor Matricia Green said betting is a fast-growing addiction in our area. According to Green, around 17 percent of the Baton Rouge area population has a gambling problem.
“It’s a big problem and the suicide rate is very high for compulsive gambling,” said Green.
Livingston has been in recovery from his addiction for five years, which started with the help of CAHS and Green. Both Green and Livingston believe legalized sports betting will escalate the problem.
“It’s gonna boom, it’s booming now. We’re going to need more gambling counselors. We’re training our staff to meet their needs,” said Green.
Livingston has a new passion for giving back and advocating against betting.
“At the end of the day, once you get help, that’s the only way to get better, only way to treat any type of addiction,” he said.
CAHS offers the following gambling addiction services:
- Individual sessions
- Group sessions
- Family groups
- Educational groups
- Treatment planning
- And more
All services are at no cost for Louisiana citizens.
For more information on CAHS gambling services, call 225-362-5360 or visit here.