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Possible Legalization of Sports Betting Brings Warning of Gambli - KOAM TV 7

Possible Legalization of Sports Betting Brings Warning of Gambling Addiction Risk

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

     Sports gambling may be illegal now, but that could change after this week's Supreme Court ruling. It gives states the ability to legalize sports wagering. But some warn that will simply increase the number of gambling addicts.
Sports bars and restaurants are a go to for fans including those who will bet on games.  Joplin resident Todd Loudis says interest in games is often tied to gambling.  "One is betting just on the straight games or even the fantasy football. That's betting. You're playing. You're making up a team, putting money in a pool, whoever wins that  pool wins that money. That
s betting," said Loudis.

Loudis believes the supreme court ruling giving states the chance to allow betting on the games would be good for generating revenues like the lottery already does.


 But Sr. John Dyben the Chief Clinical Officer of Origins Behavioral Health Care says Americans mistakenly believe if  something  is legalized, its safe.   But the risk of addiction would increase.
Dyben said, 
About thirteen percent  of people who have active ongoing weekly gambling will develop problems. It just logically follows, if you increase the number of people who are  actively gambling,  that statistically you will increase the number of people who develop gambling problems."

Loudis said there  is an aspect  of the now legal off-site  betting that puts limits on gamblers. He explained, "The difference between legalized  sports betting and using a bookie, is a bookie  is typically on credit. Where I may bet a hundred dollars on a game over the phone,  he doesn
t have my money yet. I dont have my money yet. And if I get into trouble, if Ive lost many games that week, he still wants his money at the end of the week or she.

In legalized sports betting, you place the money up  front. If I go to a window in Las Vegas,  I bet a hundred dollars on the Kansas City  chiefs for a game next week,  I have to put up the hundred or hundred and ten dollars to place the bet. So that keeps you from overextending yourself because you have to have the money to bet.


Mark McDonald, a Joplin area counselor, said problem gambling is already here  but  most addicts are underground. He says gambling addicts have the highest rate of suicide attempts of compulsive behaviors because it can be so financially damaging to a family.

And Dr. Dyben said people shouldn
t minimize betting on the game of the week.  He said, "Anytime you're gambling  at least once a week or more, your risks are increased regardless of the type of gambling."
 

 Missouri had two sports wagering bills proposed this session. But the session ends on Friday.
     Those with gambling problems can simply call 1-800- to find local counseling help in Missouri.
     Gaming boards exist in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas which could expedite the legalization of sports wagering. Those boards already monitor lotteries and riverboat gambling in Missouri, state owned casinos in Kansas, horse racing in Arkansas and tribal gaming in Oklahoma.

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