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Opponents of Mobile Sports Betting in NC Fear Rise in Problem Gambling

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
12 min read
  • NC Lawmakers Hoping to Legalize Mobile Sports Betting Face Problem Gambling Issue
  • Over 30% of Sports Gamblers Experience Problem Gambling According to Experts
  • Minimizing Betting Addiction is the Responsibility of Sportsbooks and Gamblers
Mobile Sports Betting Nc Problem Gambling

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NC Lawmakers Hoping to Legalize Mobile Sports Betting Face Problem Gambling Issue

In North Carolina, gamblers who want to bet on sports are free to do that legally, but only if they place those wagers in person at one of two Cherokee casinos in the far western part of the state since the ‘mobile option’ is still not available there and may not be for the foreseeable future.

As we just reported in North Carolina House Rejects Mobile Sports Betting Bill by One Vote, adding an online sports betting market to North Carolina’s existing retail operation is getting pushback by some legislators due to a fear of that move causing a rise in problem gambling.

That’s the politically correct term for the addiction to gambling, a widespread issue that, according to some experts, affects “between 1% and 3% of the general adult (18+) population, or over 5.1 million people,” plus their families and friends and workplace suffer, as well.

Now North Carolina lawmakers have the rest of June to figure out if they want to add a mobile option to their sports betting market the way 30+ other states have already done in the U.S. or continue to avoid that move in order to prevent any more temptations for gambling addicts.

Millions of Carolinian lives will be affected by either choice they make.

Over 30% of Sports Gamblers Experience Problem Gambling According to Experts

In talking to the media recently, North Carolina Rep. Pricey Harrison shared the results of a survey that showed sports gambling as being highly addictive, with 31% of the North Carolinians who participate in sports betting experiencing a problem with gambling, or almost a third.

That means millions of addicts who could lose control of their choices are out there, and of course industries based on sports betting and alcohol and marijuana and cigarettes all have to keep that in mind and do what they can to curb the negative effects of their products.

In North Carolina, that problem is real according to Rep. Pat Hurley, who said:

Conservative estimates suggest North Carolina can expect to see tens of thousands more of our state’s citizens and their families being victimized by gambling addiction. What some people don’t even think about [it] adds to our social service budget.

All valid arguments, but only if prohibition works, and historically banning vices does not work in the U.S., so one answer is to begin to illuminate the problem areas in the industry and work to fix and regulate those places most harmful to gambling addicts.

It’s a job for both sides of the wager: sportsbooks and bettors.

Minimizing Betting Addiction is the Responsibility of Sportsbooks and Gamblers

As we reported in What Sports Betting Companies Should Be Doing to Protect their Customers, sportsbook are partly responsible for protecting their bettors from addictive harm, and they do that by using “Markers of Protection” and by reevaluating regulatory compliance procedures.

But in America, adults are responsible for their own choices, so gamblers must learn to gamble responsibly and if that proves to be difficult, to seek help from all the resources now available for problem gamblers, including online and in-person 12-step programs.

With strong efforts made by both sides of the wager – from sports books and casinos to casual bettors and high rollers – problem gambling can hopefully be minimized so that this new source of recreation and tax revenue for states like NC can find a healthy place in the sports world.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]

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