Now that Maryland has launched online sports betting in the state, it’s important to raise awareness for problem gambling prevention and treatment options, experts say.
Policy professionals believe now is the opportune time to explore the effect of Maryland sports betting on local communities and residents.
Webinar discusses MD sports betting & problem gambling
Maryland’s first month of public data confirmed the high level of interest and participation in legal online sports betting.
To discuss impending issues from this new industry, the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling at the University of Maryland hosted a one-hour webinar on Friday, Jan. 20.
This “Maryland Sports Betting: Implications from a Policy, Prevention, and Treatment Perspective” webinar was the latest in a series of events hosted by the Center. Previous topics have included support for gambling disorder recovery and the impact of gambling on personal finances.
What to expect at the sports betting seminar
Friday’s webinar focused on Maryland sports betting policies and how they both promote and discourage safe gambling.
Best practices for responsible gambling and learning the signs of problem behaviors were also discussed.
The Center says that following the forum, participants should be able to:
- Consider the sports betting policies in Maryland and their potential impact on the community.
- Understand problem gambling prevention strategies that can be implemented to encourage responsible gambling in Maryland.
- Understand the evidenced-based problem gambling screening tools and treatment strategies relevant to individuals with problem gambling behaviors due to sports betting.
Correlation doesn’t always equal causation
Research shows that gaming expansion typically leads to an increase in problem gambling behavior and disorders. Recovered gambling addicts often highlight how this increase in available options tends to exacerbate problematic behaviors.
However, the long-term impact of digital gambling in the U.S. is uncertain due to a relatively small sample size.
Internet casino gambling was legalized in New Jersey in 2013. The Garden State was also the first in the country to offer both retail and online sports betting in 2018.
Problem gambling experts in N.J. reported a noticeable increase in calls coming into the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline during the early months of online sports betting. But, officials acknowledged the frequency and volume declined after time, although both metrics remained higher than before.