Massachusetts Sports Betting News: Rising Concerns Over Problem Gambling

The momentum of state-by-state sports betting legalization continues early in 2023. Ohio became the 33rd U.S. state to legalize it (January 1st) and after the first week of February, Massachusetts has been added to the map. It didn’t take long for concerns over problem gambling in Ohio to rear their head, and within a few short days of actuality, similar scrutiny is evident in the Bay State. Below is a look at Massachusetts sports betting news regarding problem gambling and what it means for at-risk individuals and organizations.

3 Early Signs Indicating that Massachusetts Requires Enhanced Access to Gambling Disorder Therapy in 2023

I. Influencers Leveraged to Promote Betting

The use of influencers in gambling endorsements can have an impact on “recruiting” new gamblers. Those of a young age are especially susceptible to this marketing tactic. American consumers between 18 to 34 years more likely to be swayed by influencer driven gambling marketing.

Within hours of legalization, local influencers from professional sports in Massachusetts came out of the woodwork to promote in-state gambling. Among Boston stars to get involved was the New England Patriots’ recently retired Julian Edelman. The media followed him as he ceremoniously walked into the WynnBet Sportsbook with a briefcase full of cash and passionately exclaimed:

“I put $11,000 on the Celtics to win the NBA Championship. Who’s with me!?!”

WCVB News | Boston

Who’s with Edelman? A concerning number of people who are deemed to be at risk gamblers.

II. Over 8% of Massachusetts Population At-Risk

The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) reports that approximately 8.4% of the state’s of-age population are at-risk gamblers. These residents exhibit behaviors that put them at risk of developing a gambling disorder. This data was taken from before the legalization of sports betting in the state. The math is simple enough to follow, as a path has been cleared for at-risk gamblers to venture into concerning territory.

III. Professional League Players Associations Concerned?

Not all stars from professional sports leagues are happy to benefit from sports betting endorsement deals. In fact, news from Boston reports that Players’ Association reps from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS have asked that the Gaming Commission include language in its regulations to outline safety measures for players, family members and others, and the penalties for bettors who make threats against them. Their concerns are steeped in data that shows problem gamblers have increased odds of exhibiting violent behavior. When players from the very teams that bettors wager on (or against) are concerned about the behavior of problem gamblers in their state, it becomes clear that more behavioral health support is required.

To date, data shows that more than a quarter-million Massachusetts residents live in a community that does not have adequate access to mental health professionals. Please acknowledge that this is in reference to generalized behavioral health services, then ponder how access to specialized gambling disorder treatment is even more limited for these out-of-reach citizens. While the State has devoted significant funding to make problem gambling resources more accessible, everything above indicates that even more can be done. This is where Kindbridge comes in. We offer highly-specialized gambling disorder therapy to Massachusetts residents (and the entire USA) in a welcoming, safe, and confidential online environment that allows people to get support today.

Problem Gamblers in Massachusetts:

CALL +1 (877) 426-4258


Email [email protected]