Betting on sports is becoming increasingly popular. You can even do it just from your phone. Now, it is legal in 37 states, becoming prominent across America. About 12% of the US population has made a sports bet within the last year, with about 20% of those placing a bet every day. In 2022, sports books generated $7.56 Billion in revenue, a new all-time high amount. This is the new way people are watching sports.  

Map of legal sports betting states as of November 2022.

When you are watching sports on TV, you are going to see an advertisement about gambling. Chances are there are going to be a lot of them as well. Nowadays, you cannot get through one set of commercials without seeing one about a sportsbook. 25 out of the 32 National Football League teams have partnerships with sports books. A larger portion of states now allow sports betting, and sports books are going on a press run to try to get new customers as fast as possible.  

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. It was now giving the power to each of the fifty states to determine their sports betting laws. The states that have legalized bets have generated a lot in tax revenue. In 2022, the total tax revenue made by all states that had legalized it was $1.5 Billion. This money is used for public education and social services. In Maryland, during July 2023, it got a little bit over $3 Million in tax revenue, which is the lowest betting month of the year. Conversely, in March, over $5 Million was made due to March Madness.  

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However, there are justifiable arguments against sports betting. With so many people now being able to bet on sports, there is a worry about a potential rise in addiction. There is no federal funding for sports gambling addiction, while alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs have funding to help people with a problem. The very end of an advertisement saying something along the lines of “please play responsibly” does not do enough. A 1-800 number is just there for legal protection, not because they care if you have an addiction. The average debt of a person with an addiction is between $55,000-90,000. Addiction can lead to job loss, lead to bad relationships, and mental health issues.  

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There is a fine line between occasionally betting on the outcome of a game and a full-blown addiction. There is somewhere between where both sides are right. They must work together to make it reasonable and fair for everyone. There should be some safe lines put into place to make it so that they both allow gambling, but it is reasonable. These safety measures must be easily accessible and well-known to make them effective. Daily deposit limits, proper bankroll management, and appropriate treatments are a good thing and something the companies should be giving money to all of them. 

Devin Drury is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.