Problem Gambling News April 2024

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (March) may be in the books, but it remains on the top of America’s collective consciousness as we enter April. There’s simply no escaping the headlines, especially as the meteoric growth of sports betting takes its toll on our vulnerable society. Below is a breakdown of the month’s leading stories, thus far.

April 2024 Developments Regarding Problem Gambling that America Needs to Know About

Massive Sports Betting Scandal Predicted to Come Soon

Shohei Ohtani hit his very first home run as a Los Angeles Dodger on April 4, after a 9-game HR slump that had many wondering if he had gambling on the mind. For those who have been residing under a rock, the highest paid athlete of all-time is currently embroiled in a gambling scandal that began unfolding on March 28, 2024. You can catch-up on what happened to the superstar pitcher here, but the current gist is that he’s in the clear, with all blame landing on his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara. Some speculate that there’s more to the story, but with a near three-quarter $1 billion contract on the table we suspect that the buck will stop with the interpreter. However, one thing has become certain to many editorialists in the field. If the sheen on the likes of Ohtani can be tarnished by this new threat to our beloved pastimes, a damaging sports betting scandal is clearly on the horizon:

“It’s probably too late to turn back the tide. There’s too much money in sports betting, which will make it almost difficult to put a leash on its continued growth. When the inevitable scandal erupts to bite the leagues and their political enablers, they will be stuck. Their games’ integrity will come under a permanent cloud. Sports won’t be anywhere nearly as fun as it used to be. And they’ll have only themselves to blame.”

Los Angeles Times

Sports Bettor Threats Against Athletes On the Rise

As we head into the weekend of the NCAA Final Four, the madness surrounding sports betting’s impact on young athletes continues to grow. North Carolina Tar Heels’ Armando Bacot announced that he received about 100 direct messages (DMs) from angry bettors after Michigan State game. The news prompted NCAA president Charlie Baker to ask states to pass laws banning prop betting in college sports.

Bacot’s accounting is unfortunately nothing new. Last year, we reported on how college athletes were being targeted by angry gamblers to the point that the FBI got involved. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers head coach told the NBA that his wife and kids were being threatened by in-stadium sports bettors. Sports betting threats against athletes, coaches, refs and support staff are on the rise and the powers-that-be need to take these threats seriously. View more on what is causing this unsettling trend, and what must be done about it at a mental/behavioral health level.

New Partnerships Formed to Fight Problem Gambling

We conclude this month’s problem gambling news report on a positive note. As stakeholders, care providers, and conscious operators take note of what’s happening around the country, new partnerships are formed to provide support for populations who are vulnerable to gambling disorder.

For one, renowned regulatory expert (in sports betting) Dan Hartman has joined the Kindbridge Behavioral Health Advisory Board. You can read more about how Hartman’s expertise will advance our mission of revolutionizing mental healthcare accessibility and delivery, right here. Meanwhile, America’s leading sports betting operator DraftKings has opted to expand their program with Kindbridge to provide treatment resources for any of their players who experience potential indications of problem gaming. This new initiative will include all 25 states where DraftKings operates online gaming. Lastly (for now) we are pleased to report that another collaboration with the famous operator, FanDuel, is underway. This new relationship with Kindbridge is part of a series of initiatives that aim to support problem gambling prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.

Stay tuned for more as stories develop.

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Problem Gambling News