Gambling Addition on the Rise Among Young Americans

By Raymond
Published March 15, 2024
Young American dealing with gambling addition

Since individual states could choose to legalize online casinos and sports betting, reports show a significant increase in problem gambling among young Americans aged 25 and below.

In this Article:

  • How Easily Accessible Gambling in the US has Become
  • Problematic Gambling at a Record High
  • Should Online Gambling be Legal in the US?

How Easily it is to Access Online Gambling in the US

Online casinos have been legal for over a decade, starting with New Jersey in 2013. The state launched multiple online brands simultaneously, offering various casino games, live dealer games, and slots. In 2024, Rhode Island became the seventh state to legalize online casinos, making it easily accessible for interested gamblers within the state borders.

While problematic gambling behavior increased with the launch of online casinos in the US, it simply cannot be compared to the recent spike associated with online betting. In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 – which prohibited sports betting in the US – was unconstitutional, allowing each state to establish it’s own sports betting laws.

Today, 38 states have legalized online sports betting, making it easily accessible for visitors and residents to access online betting for real money. While some states have an age limit of 21, others permit bettors from 18. In addition to betting online, more states offer retail betting access to bettors of 18.

While launching regulated online gambling gives the state regulator the ability to monitor problem gambling and apply limits, it seems as if gambling has taken a toll on the youth.

Gambling Treatment Calls at a Record High

New Jersey played a significant role in getting the Supreme Court to overturn the federal law that’s been in place for decades. Ironically, calls for gambling problem support have more than doubled in the state, while many other states have seen a significant increase.

While the availability of online gambling would attract more gamblers, the problem lies with the age groups requesting assistance. The majority of calls are from the younger groups aged 25 and lower, seeking treatment.

Arnie Wexler, one of the counselors, says they have never seen anything like this and that we’re killing the youth of America.

Regulated online gambling sites provide easy access to helplines and provide fast guides to ensure gamblers are aware of the risks and how to play responsibly. However, it seems as if not enough is being done to educate young gamblers who fall victim to the hopes of getting rich quickly.

Should Online Gambling be Legal in the US?

While reports show an increase in gamblers who need help, it’s important to note that access to problem gambling helplines was not available for online gaming or betting in the past. Moving players away from illegal offshore gaming platforms provides better fairness, higher security, and safer gambling opportunities.

The more accessible access to gambling platforms would increase the number of players that play and wager, and to avoid problem gambling, sites should take a hands-on approach towards gambling education, applying standard limits, and monitoring player behavior.

Read More of the Latest Online Casinos News

The American online casino industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. While gambling addiction might be on the rise at regulated online casinos, it doesn’t compare to the risk involved with offshore online casinos.

Read more of the latest online casino news articles and learn more about what’s happening in the US.