Legalizing sports gambling is a massive expansion of gambling. Access to sporting events worldwide 24 hours a day, makes gambling just a click away and fuels gambling addiction. Internet sports gambling appeals to young people, who could place bets over their phones or computers, with no one knowing.
Sports gambling advertising is very aggressive. Remember all those Daily Fantasy Sports ads on television? A recent study found that Twitter users under the age of 18 who follow popular sports accounts are being “bombarded” with gambling ads. Studies indicate that youths who view these ads are more likely to gamble.
Nearly 10% of the high school students are gambling online, and more than 40% are gambling in any form, according a study published in Science Daily.
A 2016 survey by the NCAA found 24% of male student athletes reported wagering on sports for money, with 9% gambling on sports once a month or more. About 5% of current NCAA women reported wagering on sports in the past year.
Online sports betting will create a new generation of problem gamblers. More than one fifth of 18-24 year olds in the United Kingdom confessed to gambling at work last year. Millennials (those 25-34 years of age) were responsible for the biggest increase in online gambling. Young people, who are starting careers and families, could be targeted by apps and place bets several times a day. People could gamble in real time from their phones during the game or in the stadiums. Sports would be changed forever.
Gambling interests overestimate the amount of revenue and never consider any of the costs—addiction, bankruptcy, crime, family problems. At a Senate Gaming Committee hearing on sports gambling, Legislators were cautioned not to tax sports gambling too high. Legalizing sports gambling will not eliminate illegal gambling nor prevent underage gambling. The State would pay for regulatory, criminal justice, and social costs, and get just a small “cut” of the losses. Gambling interests would make a fortune, while Illinois residents could lose everything.
In New Jersey, which is led the way for sports gambling, the governor does not consider sports gambling to be a game changer and is still trying to raise income and sales tax.
Gambling will not solve the State’s budget problems. Call your Legislators (217-782-2000) and tell them NO MORE GAMBLING! Find your legislators here.