Revamping the Sports World: A Call for Industry-Wide Reform

Back in my DC days, my friends and I had a ritual. Every Sunday, we’d drive to Arlington for pho. Then, we’d bet on football games using sports apps like 20Bet. We never bet more than a few bucks, plus the cost of our meal. Our small losses? It was a price for fun and games, thanks to living in DC, where mobile sports betting wasn’t legal, unlike Virginia.

Fast forward, and I’m predicting a future where apps like 20Bet will be accessible everywhere in the US for those 21 and over. Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision, 38 states, including DC, have welcomed sports betting. It’s a booming $280 billion industry, with even the big states like California, Texas, and Florida expected to join. This growth, while profitable for states, carries significant public health concerns. It’s a reality even casual bettors like me and 20% of Americans cannot ignore.

The industry could use some reform.

The Impact of Mobile Sports Betting on American Society

Since mobile sports betting started in 2018, Americans have bet $220 billion. Addiction is on the rise. Calls to help hotlines doubled in New Jersey and Michigan. This shows that more people are struggling. Young people get hooked, especially from getting a buzz from wins like my big win at 22. But, most people still like the idea of betting, with 66% saying keep it legal. The goal is to make betting less easy and not as big a part of our culture. For more details and help, check out our webpage.

Betting From the Couch Can Be Bad

Experts once said 90% of sports betting would go mobile within ten years. States like New York and New Jersey have already hit that mark. A survey shows that most gamblers prefer betting online. They like the ease it offers, like ordering groceries from home. Yet, this convenience isn’t good. For example, my gambling was limited by having to travel to bet. Now, with betting apps like Fanduel and DraftKings, people are betting more often, especially on games as they happen. This leads to impulsive bets. App notifications push gamblers to keep betting. This can lead to a cycle of risky and frequent betting. It is especially harmful to those prone to addiction.

It’s Preferable to Make Sports Gambling Less Accessible

Living near casinos increases the risk of gambling addiction. Delaware limits sports betting to three locations. It sees spikes in betting during the NFL season but lacks constant market growth. In contrast, New Jersey has legal mobile betting. This shows steady increases in gambling. It suggests a higher risk of addiction due to easy access.

The idea is simple: making gambling less convenient could reduce addiction rates. Requiring travel to physical locations is one way to do so. This approach would likely decrease impulsive betting from home and gambling frequency.

The rise of mobile sports gambling has led to a surge in betting. $220 billion has been wagered since 2018, with a yearly growth of 22%. This convenience has sparked a spike in addiction. In New Jersey and Michigan, calls to addiction hotlines have doubled. This reflects a nationwide trend. In 2022 alone, over 270,000 calls were made, up 45% from the previous year. Young people are more likely to get hooked on gambling because their brains go for rewards. Gambling brings in money. Yet, it’s causing significant problems, especially for the young. Most people still want legal betting, so banning it might not happen. But making gambling less easy to get to and less relaxed could help fix some issues.

The Federal Government Must Interfere

In 2018, efforts to regulate sports gambling ads in the US stalled in the Senate, and since then, ads have grown. The US hasn’t put strict rules on gambling ads. Ontario, the Netherlands, and Italy have. They ban celebrity endorsements and untargeted ads. The US has debated similar restrictions. They cite the Supreme Court’s support for limiting casino ads in Puerto Rico as a precedent.

Critics argue that the flood of gambling ads turns sports fans into bettors. They push for regulations to limit this exposure. Research shows that stricter rules on gambling ads could help lower gambling problems, like how banning cigarette ads worked. New ideas exist to reduce gambling ads to make betting safer in America.

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