Gambling addiction could spike with more sports betting | KOB 4
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Gambling addiction could spike with more sports betting

Gambling addiction could spike with more sports betting

Emily Jaceks
May 15, 2018 06:24 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court could soon change gambling in New Mexico. In a 6-3 vote, the high court on Monday struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a decades-old federal law requiring states to ban professional sports gambling.

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The ruling opens the door to an explosion in betting in college and professional games, with states hoping to get a piece of the nearly $150 billion a year Americans are now wagering online illegally.

"Let's bring these dollars into the sunlight. Let's let it be regulated. Let's let it be taxed. Let's use if for the good instead of calling it gambling and gaming and giving it a bad name,” said Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards said.

But is this cash cow all it's cracked up to be? Guy Clark, chairman of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation, said studies from the University of Illinois show for every $1 the state receives in gambling revenue, they’re paying out $3 in gambling-related costs.

"For treating addiction for criminal prosecution, turns out there's a high percentage of gambling addicts resort to crime to fund their addiction," Clark said.

With poverty in New Mexico at an all-time high, this could only contribute to a growing problem.

"Gambling is one of the biggest drivers of poverty in the United States. This will just increase the downward mobility instead of promoting upward financial mobility. Gambling decreases upward mobility," Clark said.

Clark believes there will be legislation submitted this year to try and push sports gambling through. But because of tribal compacts, he doesn't expect it to get very far.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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