Needless to say, the growth of sports betting in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting has been very rapid, to say the least. In essence, it implies that sports betting was already a big deal in the country even though all of it was happening underground and in illegal and unregulated online or offline platforms. The legalization of the activity has since been quite effective at solving part of the problem that is illegal sports betting but now a new set of challenges seem to be cropping up.
One of the areas of concern for regulators and lawmakers in the states where sports betting has been legalized is problem gambling or any other form of gambling-related harm. Mobile sports betting has come under the spotlight of late for this particular reason and the arguments are not so far from the truth.
To begin with, a number of states are looking to capitalize and profit off of the new legalized and regulated sports betting market in the US. In addition to that, there are several international sports betting operators currently venturing into the very lucrative gaming market and they too have brought their own innovations. For most states, the next logical step is online and mobile betting.
So, while the debate on whether to allows sports betting rages on in some states, many others are now pondering over whether gamblers should be allowed to bet remotely or only in-person at a land-based facility.
Gateway to Underage Gambling?
One of the biggest concerns for lawmakers is the increased accessibility of online betting services – which, in a way, can be considered to be a good thing. They worry that by allowing people to access gambling services online and on mobile, it will increase the possibility of minors participating in the activities.
“We know cellphones are addictive and gambling is addictive,” a Rhode Island Democrat lawmakers pointed out. “It’s two corrosive elements together, and we don’t know what those two things together will exponentially produce. I just don’t see that there’s adequate caution moving forward.”
Now, as much as this may be true, there is very little chance that bills and regulations permitting online or mobile betting will be scrapped anytime soon. In fact, in states like Pennsylvania, online gambling is just about to gain momentum and so will mobile sports betting. That said, it will probably be much easier for lawmakers and responsible gambling campaigners to introduce public awareness campaigns. The issue of underage gambling on mobile or online is yet to manifest and the industry is inevitably headed towards the launch of online gaming products which makes the future rather uncertain. Still, earlier interventions are likely to make a difference, even if it is just a little.