With less than a month to go before the 2023 NFL Draft, The Athletic and YAHOO Sports have both reported that NFL team owners have voted to allow brick and mortar sportsbooks to operate within stadiums on game days. The change takes effect for the beginning of the 2023 season which begins on September 8 of this year.
At press (March 29/2023) only the Washington Commanders have a physical sportsbook in their stadium. The Arizona Cardinals, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets have gambling facilities outside their venues. The announcement will surely lead to in-stadium renovations for a number of the 34 U.S. states where sports betting is legal as the potential for revenue share lights a fire under each owner’s executive chair. Once a certain revenue threshold (reportedly $20 million) is reached, all 32 teams get a piece of the pie. This is expected to incite support from most clubs, including those within states where sports betting remains illegal.
It may be exciting news for avid football bettors who enjoy the experience of on-site gambling, but what about those who are not able to wager responsibly? Is an NFL gambling problem about to grow as physical sportsbooks pop-up within stadiums across the USA? It’s hard to argue against the concern.
How the NFL Owners Vote to Allow Sportsbooks to Operate in Stadiums on Game Days Could Increase the Risk of Problem Gambling Across America
Yet Another Place to Place a Bet
This is the most logical of implications. The greater the opportunity to gamble, the greater the risk to at-risk gamblers. If someone with gambling disorder walks into an NFL stadium on game day, and walks passed an on-site sportsbook, they are further enabled to participate in an activity that places them in danger.
May Increase Risk of Relapse for At-Risk Attendees
One part of an effective gambling relapse prevention plan is to block one’s own access to sports betting apps and websites. It helps remove temptation to gamble when watching a game as a fan. This form of self-exclusion is helpful given that regulated states already allow in-stadium betting online. Will at-risk fans now have to opt out of attending NFL games in-person?
An Increase in Gambling Tourism
Gambling tourism is on the rise across the USA as of-age residents who live in unregulated states can travel to a neighboring state where sports betting is legal and gamble. It’s fully permissible. With physical sportsbooks now allowed to open in permitted state stadiums, prospective NFL bettors have an added incentive to cross state borders. Among them are at-risk gamblers.
Increased Exposure to Youth
Sportbook operators are grooming the next generation of sports bettors. Their onslaught of influencer advertisements during America’s most popular sporting events such as NCAA March Madness and the Super Bowl directly target an under-age audience. Now, when attending a game in-person with their family and friends, they may see betting stations next to hot dog and merchandise stands. America already has a teenage gambling problem, and now the table is set for its growth within the NFL stadium environment.
Get Help for Your NFL Gambling Problem
Kindbridge’s virtual treatment center for gambling disorder offers support services in a confidential, safe, and welcoming environment. The platform provides options for individuals and families and also offers one-on-one sessions in addition to group sessions. If you’re at-risk and concerned about the ever-growing exposure to gambling triggers, please click the banner below to begin your road to recovery: