Problem Gambling News October 2023

The month of October is upon us, which puts America in the thick of sports betting season. College football in addition to the NFL and NHL schedules along with the MLB playoffs are underway. Meanwhile, NCAA basketball the NBA are locked and loaded to begin in a few short days. It’s a tumultuous time for a country being ravaged by problem gambling and subsequent debt. For this reason Kindbridge Behavioral Health is beholden to publish yet another problem gambling news release. We encourage all individuals, households, and organizations to read ahead to stay more informed about what’s happening around the nation.  

October 2023 Developments Regarding Problem Gambling that Individuals, Households, and Organizations Should Know About

BetMGM and DraftKings Join Forces with Kindbridge

Two of the biggest players in the online sports betting market are proving their dedication to being there for customers who are not able to gamble responsibly. Both BetMGM and DraftKings have joined forces with Kindbridge Behavioral Health in creating programs that ensure players who may be facing problem gaming-related challenges have direct access to critical resources to embark on a path to recovery and well-being. This initiative is beginning in the state Colorado, which has stood out across the nation as a model of problem gambling support. We look forward to reporting on when this movement expands across all other U.S. states with legal sports betting. View more about the BetMGM partnership here and the collaboration with DraftKings here.

NY Hits Record Sports Betting + Problem Gambling Helpline Calls in Same Month

State-by-state numbers from September are in regarding mobile sports betting across the USA, and New York is headlining the show. Mobile sports betting revenue in New York reached a record $165.6 million in September. Meanwhile, the New York State Comptroller’s Office reported a record increase in helpline calls regarding gambling addiction in the same month. The increase is cited as being from the implementation of new forms of gaming, rather than an increase from gamblers using existing ones. In this case, calls have been mostly related to mobile device gambling. This is not surprising when you consider that this recent Men’s Health study found that 67% of sports bettors wager more frequently since downloading a betting app. Consequently, it is important to provide support for this quickly growing group of problem gamblers on the very same devices that enable them to gamble more easily and frequently. Kindbridge Behavioral Health offers exactly that via virtual therapy for gambling disorder.

VICE Cracks Down on Teen Gambling

No, this isn’t about the feds charging underage gamblers. That was last month. Instead, we’re referring to VICE Magazine, which is one of America’s most cutting-edge media sources that focuses on lifestyle, arts, culture, and news/politics. This week, VICE published an article titled Teens Are Developing Severe Gambling Problems as Online Betting Surges. The article serves as an accounting of numerous studies about the vulnerability of American youth. 

Kindbridge covered America’s teenage gambling problem quite extensively in the spring of 2023, but we thought we’d share VICE’s recent findings as well. The following statistics evidence that early intervention education must be applied before it’s too late:

  • In New Jersey, 35% of helpline calls are from people under 25 or their parents and siblings.
  • A survey of 16-to-25-year-olds found that almost 70% saw at least four gambling ads on social media every week.
  • A Rutgers study found one-third of those aged 18 to 24 are now gambling in some form online, with 19% of them being at “high risk” for problem gambling.
  • The National Council on Problem Gambling has found that 60 to 80 percent of high-school students have gambled in the past year, and 14 to 19 percent either fit the criteria of having a gambling problem or are showing “signs of losing control”.

It’s clear that safeguards to keep youth from gambling work about as well as locks on household liquor cabinets:

“Children have shown an ability to bypass safeguards and gain access to a family member’s account or plug in their parents’ email and credit card information without their knowing. Derevensky, the McGill professor, recently spoke to a young man who had stolen two of his mother’s credit cards and then racked up $10,000 in gambling debt on each before the mother found out.” (VICE)

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