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Congress Sees New Legislation Introduced to Help Problem Gambling

Written by: Michael Savio
Published January 19, 2024
6 min read
New Georgia Sports Betting Bill Faces Difficulties

The latest sports betting news comes from Washington DC, where two US Senators introduced a new bill to help address problem gambling on a federal level. The new bill, named the Gambling and Recovery, Investment, and Treatment Act (GRIT), was introduced by Senators Richard Blumenthal and Andrea Salinas and would dedicate a large chunk of the tax funds from the sports betting industry to problem gambling programs. 

The new bill states that the current social cost of problem gambling is around $7 billion per year, which is the driving reason for GRIT. 

“Gambling addictions are hurting countless families, children, and communities in Oregon and across America. Yet unlike alcohol and drug addictions, there are currently no federal funds devoted solely to helping stop problem gambling,” Sen. Salinas said in a press release. “Our legislation will deliver much-needed resources to states and nonprofits, promoting new research and ensuring more people can get into treatment and recovery. This is a commonsense solution, and I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting it.”

If passed, GRIT would send funds to support state problem gambling, health programs, and nonprofits dedicated to the problem. Funds would also be used to help research gambling addiction at a national level, with the hope that they can lower the quick rise it has had in the US.

The US taxes all operators a 0.25% tax on their betting handle across all markets, which has generated over $500 million since legal sports betting began in 2018.

Problem Gambling Rises as Sports Betting Expands

The National Center for Problem Gambling (NCPG) shows that problem gambling has risen by over 30% in the first four years of sports betting. While the rise isn’t unexpected, some are worried that the programs and resources states have to address problem gambling just aren’t enough. 

The NCPG came up with a social cost for problem gambling of $7 billion based on things like criminal problems, healthcare costs, bankruptcies, etc. It makes the large number even more of a concern, resulting in the new GRIT proposal.

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AUTHOR

Michael Savio

352 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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