Sports Betting Triggers Increase in Maryland Problem Gambling

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Mary Drexler, the director of the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, claims that the volume of calls to the organization has been increasing as sports betting grows within the state.

She has called for the expansion of sports betting to be accompanied by initiatives to protect bettors and ensure that they are aware of the potential dangers of gambling. She highlighted certain practices within the industry, particularly those that affect young people, and argued that as such, sports betting has a huge impact on problem gambling.

According to data collected by the Maryland Center, the level of problem gambling amongst sports bettors is at least double that of the general population. In order to raise awareness of the issue, the Centre is in the midst of putting together data that will form the core of its six-month evaluation published at the end of July. The findings of this evaluation will then be used to make recommendations to lawmakers.

There will also be an annual report in September, which will give the Center the chance to present a fuller picture of problem gambling in Maryland.

While problem gambling funding was planned for games of chance, there was far less allocated to sports betting. For example, an idea put forward that 1% of all state proceeds from sports gambling should go towards tackling problem gambling failed to attract enough support to pass into law.

Drexler is calling for more money to be directed towards the Center in order to tackle problem gambling and help those who need it. She says that there are 400 people at “any given time” who are seeking help from the hotline and that more resources are needed.

Importance of Responsible Gambling Practices

The increase in problem gambling associated with the expansion of sports betting underscores the importance of implementing measures to protect bettors and promote responsible gambling practices. By allocating adequate funding and resources to address problem gambling, Maryland can provide vital support services and education to prevent and treat gambling-related issues.

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