Home Gambling addiction hotlines say volume is up and callers are younger as U.S. sees betting boom

Gambling addiction hotlines say volume is up and callers are younger as U.S. sees betting boom

The US is experiencing an online sports betting boom following the legalization within several states, experts say gambling hotlines are taking a hit with a mounting call volume.

The rise in calls to helplines is reported as being seen state after state, with the circumstances being more severe and the callers skewing younger than before – with a highlight on men in their 20s and 30s.

NBC News has spoken with the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling Keith Whyte: “We believe, nationwide, the rate and severity of gambling problems have increased across the United States since 2018.

“We have every reason to believe the growth of online sports betting is a major contributing factor to the increase in gambling problems.” This national council also runs the 1-800-GAMBLER gambling hotline.

In 2018, the Supreme Court opened the door for states to legalize sports betting for the first time as this was previously banned. Since then, 38 states have legalized sports betting and five others are in active legislation to make this into a reality.

Whyte expands on how the gambling world has changed since that year: “Before 2018, there was no advertising for sports betting during events.

“Now, you not only have sports betting ads saturating the events, you can even bet on the game that’s right in front of you.”

He goes on to say that further action is needed: “The federal government collected, last year, more than $8 billion in gambling tax revenue. Yet they don’t put a single penny of those windfall profits back into the health system.”

Some of the biggest gaming operators have joined forces

As more states allow for online sports betting, the beginning of April saw an announcement from some of the most prominent operators in the industry. They said they are coming together to form the Responsible Online Gaming Association (ROGA) and have pledged more than $20 million to fund the plan.

The new collaboration includes FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Penn Entertainment, Fanatics Betting & Gaming, Hard Rock Digital and bet365. All of these will work as one to promote evidence-based responsible gaming best practices and will share information to protect customers.

Featured Image: Photo by Ryan on Unsplash

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Sophie Atkinson
Tech Journalist

Sophie Atkinson is a UK-based journalist and content writer, as well as a founder of a content agency which focuses on storytelling through social media marketing. She kicked off her career with a Print Futures Award which champions young talent working in print, paper and publishing. Heading straight into a regional newsroom, after graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in Journalism, Sophie started by working for Reach PLC. Now, with five years experience in journalism and many more in content marketing, Sophie works as a freelance writer and marketer. Her areas of specialty span a wide range, including technology, business,…

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