Researchers from the International Gaming Institute (IGI) at the University of Nevada have sent out a warning to lawmakers in America over the need to exercise caution about the surging legal sports betting market across the nation.
The researchers noted that the rapid growth of sports betting in the past 27 months has not left much time for local policymakers to consider the long-term implications of fast-tracking their legal sports betting industries.
The report titled “The Big Questions: Sports Wagering America” focuses on the socioeconomic impact of legal sports betting, currently available in 18 states, with more states readying their markets for launch.
While the researchers are clear that sports betting should be legal in the US, they advocate for a more gradual legalization process to avoid potential long-term negative implications for punters as well as the industry.
Social Impact of Sports Bets Need to be Scrutinized
Bo Bernhard, IGI’s executive director says that it is a must for industry sponsorships to be scrutinized before being rolled out. Bernhard co-authored the report alongside Jennifer Shatley — Vice President of Responsible Gaming Policies for Caesars Entertainment — and Alan Feldman, a distinguished fellow for responsible gambling at IGI.
Bernhard noted that there are just seven states that have refused to consider legal sports betting markets. With sports betting soon to be near-ubiquitous across the US, Bernhard said that it is important to study the social impact of this change, especially for younger populations, who may grow up deluged by advertising for gambling.
The report also offered some suggestions on enforcing responsible gambling initiatives both off and online, advising policy makers to consider the social impact that a problem gambling epidemic could bring to their constituents.
Report Sponsored by GVC
The report was sponsored by the GVC Foundation U.S., which is supported by GVC Holdings, based out of the UK, which is one the largest sports betting firms in Europe. GVC is the partner of MGM Resorts International in Roar Digital, which oversees BetMGM’s sportsbook operations across retail and online domains. GVC was not privy to the research before it was published.
The foundation was initiated by GVC to fulfill its corporate social responsibility mandate to protect at-risk populations and maintain a safe environment for punters of all kinds. According to a trustee of the foundation, responsible gambling must be encouraged to prevent the kind of negative attention on the industry that could lead to stricter regulations.