Thanks to the boom of sports betting, the NCRG will conduct studies to how sports betting affects the U.S.

  • Revenue from legalizing sports betting jumped from $261.3 million in 2017 to $430.2 million in 2018 once PASPA was overturned.
  • The study will take place to help people better understand if the legalization of sports gambling is troublesome.
  • Gambling addiction often occurs in people that have other underlying mental disorders.

LAS VEGAS – The National Center of Responsible Gaming (NCRG) has been given $400,000 to conduct a study on the effects sports betting has on the public at a national level. The study was announced this week during a panel held by the AGA at the University of Nevada, where discussions on gambling in a responsible manner were taking place.

Among the top donors that helped make this research possible are the American Gaming Association and MGM Resorts International. Others included NASCAR, GVC Holdings, Hard Rock International, IGT, and William Hill U.S. Since PASPA was overturned, more and more states are legalizing sports gambling.

“It is important to support seminal scientific research in an emerging and rapidly expanding segment of the American gaming industry,” said Christine Reilly, the senior research director NCRG. “Because sports wagering was illegal outside of Nevada until only a year ago, we have an obligation to understand its impacts.”

After seven states immediately legalized sports wagering, 2018 saw more than $8 billion in legal bets placed. Estimations done by the AGA see an increase in the number of adult Americans participating in gambling on sporting events. Their reports show at least 38.1 million bettors wagering on the NFL season in 2019. It has also shown a probable increase of 1 million more people per year that will engage in the activity at local sportsbooks.

“This effort is bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders who are committed to ensuring that as legal sports betting options grow, the field is given the care and study consumers deserve to support responsible, healthy gaming practices,” said Alan Feldman, board chairman of the NCRG. “These generous contributions will allow the NCRG to conduct research independently and with integrity.”

The study itself will not only look at the economies of neighboring towns with cities that have legal sports betting lounges but the health of Americans that take part in the activity. Millions of Americans are at risk for developing an addiction to gambling when it is legally available to them.

“We may do the research and find out that whatever problems existed, existed long before sports betting was legalized,” said Feldman. “But so too, it is possible that some of the concerns we’ve heard from the community are correct — as this becomes even more pervasive, more normalized, more people will get into trouble.”

The entire purpose of the study is to ensure that responsible gaming is taking place. With the internet and mobile wagers, it makes it harder to gauge addiction. However, sports betting apps have begun adding features to help bettors who are at risk of developing a problem. GVC Holdings’ sports betting platforms have a feature where bet limits can be enforced if members opt to use it. More than 70% of their new members have decided to take advantage of this part of their app.

In February, the NCRG will release a statement about the study and will be open to receiving grants to put toward it by the spring. As Feldman pointed out, findings will either show that the public is right to be worried that legal gambling on sports is problematic or that there has been no change other than a new revenue stream to report. Either way, it is apparent that operators in the business are doing all that they can to ensure their customers are gambling responsibly.

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