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Now that the Supreme Court has unlocked the doors to state-sanctioned sports gambling and empowered states to pass legislation legalizing sports betting, the gambling landscape is changing in the USA. Let’s take a look what this means for the proliferation of gambling across the country and the impact this could have for gamblers.

The ruling, passed on Monday 14 May, stated that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional and violates the state’s 10th Amendment rights. As a result, a pathway was created for New Jersey and other states to offer sports betting.

Sports betting legalized

We’ve written on the effect of legalizing sports betting before and it’s still true that it will undeniably generate additional income for states and probably prevent match fixing. More importantly this can potentially reduce the stigma often associated with gambling disorders, thereby making it easier for addicts to ask for help.

However, the downsides of this shouldn’t be overlooked. Legitimizing an activity that often becomes highly addictive can open a gateway for those who are on the threshold of becoming addicted. Gambling addictions themselves often threaten the stability of personal relationships with families and friendships. Gambling is often a contributory factor in marriage failures and financial difficulties.

In a statement the President of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) Board of Directors, Marlene Warner, said, “Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is the largest potential expansion of gambling in our nation’s history now that an additional 49 states have the opportunity to legalize sports betting. NCPG believes the expansion of legalized sports gambling in the United States will likely increase gambling participation and gambling problems unless steps are taken to minimize harm.”

The ruling could allow for better regulation in the gambling industry, but there is no assurance that children and vulnerable adults will be protected. This is not the end for illegal bookies either, as it does not guarantee that illegal sports betting centers would vanish into thin air.  When it comes to illegal better centers their generous line of credit could still be an attractive draw for gamblers and there is no incentive for them to legalize their business as it will become more expensive to run.

The legalization of sports betting will most likely lead to a rise in sports gambling addiction. There is a concern among experts that when more gambling options are offered, participation may increase as well trigger an increase in gambling addictions. Since we will likely see 15 states legalizing sports gambling within a period of a year, and 40 states within 3 years, we will also almost definitely see an increase in sports betting in states with a significant number of non-native American casinos.

This impending upsurge in sports addiction need not to scare you. To help you combat the increase in availability of betting centers look out for recovery centers that offer sports gambling-specific treatment as opposed to video lottery terminal (VLT) gamblers/slot gamblers treatment.

Your Next Big Win is Ending the Cycle

At Algamus, we have a gambling-specific specific treatment program with over 30 years of heritage and patient success. Back in the 90’s when the majority of our clients were sports gambling or horse gambling addicts, we were helping them start their journey to recovery, so we understand what you’re going through. Call us today and we will help you get started on the road to sobriety.

Topics: Gambling Addiction, Treatment, sports betting

Rick Benson

Written by Rick Benson

Rick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992. A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.