Surge in Legalized Sports Betting Poses Mental Health Risks for Young Men, Experts Warn

 / 

Legalized Sports Betting

The widespread legalization of sports betting across 36 states has ushered in a booming era for the gambling industry. However, experts are sounding the alarm on the potential mental health repercussions, particularly among young men, as online betting gains popularity with the Gen Z demographic.

The Rise of Legalized Sports Betting and its Impact on Mental Health

The convenience of online betting, often incentivized by sportsbooks with credits and first-bet loss forgiveness, has firmly gripped the younger generation. A 2023 prevalence report from Rutgers University revealed that one-third of bettors aged 18 to 24 exclusively engaged in online wagering, a statistic five times higher than a 2017 report for the same age group.

Lia Nower, the director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University School of Social Work, expressed concerns about the silent dangers of mobile gambling. She emphasized that the ease of gambling from a mobile device, whether at the dinner table or elsewhere, can lead to devastating consequences without anyone being aware of the extent of the issue.

Mobile Gambling and its Mental Health Impact

Experts argue that mobile gambling is contributing to potential mental health crises in young men. Nower pointed out that the more individuals engage in gambling activities, especially at a young age, the higher the likelihood of developing not only gambling-related problems but also mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and suicidality.

A significant finding in the report highlighted that younger men, specifically those aged 18 to 44, were identified as the most likely to be high-risk problem gamblers. Among this group, 19% of individuals aged 18 to 24 were at high risk for problem gambling, emphasizing the vulnerability of this demographic.

Chasing Losses and Betting Beyond Affordability

According to Responsiblegambling.org, players aged 18 to 20 years old are significantly more likely to chase their losses and bet beyond their financial means. This risky behavior raises concerns about the potential for financial devastation among young gamblers.

Record-Breaking Sports Betting Amid College Football Playoff

As the College Football Playoff games between the Universities of Alabama and Michigan in the Rose Bowl and the Universities of Texas and Washington in the Sugar Bowl set the stage for a potential sports gambling record on New Year’s Day, experts warn of the immediate impacts.

Jay Kornegay, sportsbook director for Westgate’s Las Vegas resort, predicts unprecedented levels of sports betting during the College Football Playoff, highlighting the intensity of gambling activities surrounding major sporting events.

The Dopamine Factor and Youth Vulnerability

Psychologist James Whelan, director of The Institute for Gambling Education and Research at the University of Memphis, shed light on the addictive nature of gambling. He explained that dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure, is released at higher levels during gambling, potentially contributing to the addictive behavior observed in young individuals.

Pamela Brenner-Davis, team leader of the New York Council on Problem Gambling, emphasized the predisposition of the under-25 population to addiction, particularly gambling, due to their still-developing brains.

Rush to Legalization Raises Mental Health Concerns

Experts expressed concerns that the swift legalization of sports betting may exacerbate mental health issues among bettors. Nower cautioned that signs of dangerous gambling addictions are subtler than those associated with disorders like drinking or smoking, making it challenging to detect and address these issues early on.

In conclusion, as sports betting continues to flourish, the potential toll on the mental health of young men cannot be ignored. Experts are urging a closer examination of the long-term consequences and the development of proactive measures to safeguard the well-being of this vulnerable demographic.

Gambling addiction, they warn, may have no obvious indicators, necessitating a comprehensive approach to address this growing concern.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Research Reveals Surprising Method for Anger Reduction: Dispose of Angry Thoughts

Legalized Sports Betting

A research team at Nagoya University in Japan has uncovered a simple yet effective method for anger reduction: writing down negative reactions on paper and physically disposing of them, such as shredding or throwing them away. Lead researcher Nobuyuki Kawai and his team were astonished to find that this technique nearly eliminated anger altogether.

The significance of this discovery lies in its potential to mitigate the negative consequences of anger in various aspects of life, both at home and in the workplace. Many existing anger management techniques lack empirical support and can be challenging to recall in the heat of the moment.

Best Method for Anger Reduction

Published in Scientific Reports, the study builds upon previous research linking

Up Next

Government Considers Smartphone Ban for Under-16s Amid Concerns Over Social Media Impact

Legalized Sports Betting

As concerns grow over the detrimental effects of social media on children’s mental health and well-being, the government is contemplating a smartphone ban for those under the age of 16. However, critics argue that such a prohibition fails to address the root issue and may inadvertently exacerbate the problem.

The proposal to ban the sale of smartphones to minors faces a significant challenge: many young people receive these devices as gifts from their parents, rendering the ban ineffective in curbing access to social media platforms.

Expert’s Suggestion On Smartphone Ban

Some experts suggest that restricting possession, rather than just sales, would be necessary to limit underage access to smartphones. However, implementing age verificatio

Up Next

Unsupportive Partners Can Increase Elevated Stress Hormone Levels

Legalized Sports Betting

Researchers at Binghamton University have uncovered a concerning connection between unsupportive partners and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, potentially leading to worse physical health outcomes.

Led by Professor of Psychology Richard Mattson, the study analyzed 191 heterosexual married couples to investigate the impact of social support and communication skills on cortisol levels.

The study, which focused on the giving and receiving of social support within relationships, found that couples who displayed positive support skills tended to experience lower cortisol levels.

Conversely, when partners exhibited negative communication skills or provided support in a rejecting manner, cortisol levels increased, indicating heightened stress levels.

Up Next

Study Reveals Sharp Decline in Mental Health of Girls and Women

Legalized Sports Betting

A recent study led by Dartmouth College has uncovered concerning trends in youth mental health, indicating a significant decline in the mental health of girls and women. Traditionally, mental well-being has followed a U-shaped curve over time, rising in youth, declining in middle age, and then rising again later in life.

However, this pattern is rapidly changing due to a decline in youth mental health, particularly among girls, which began approximately 15 years ago.

Factors Responsible For Decline in Mental Health of Girls and Women

The study suggests that the proliferation of social media and increased internet usage may be contributing factors to this decline. Researchers, including prominent mental health

Up Next

New Research Challenges Effectiveness of Venting Anger: Alternative Strategies Recommended

Legalized Sports Betting

In recent years, the common advice to “vent” or “blow off steam” when angry has faced scrutiny, with new research suggesting that such practices may not be as beneficial as previously believed. Conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, the study examined 154 studies involving over 10,000 participants, revealing insights into the effectiveness of various anger management techniques.

Published on April 5, 2024, the findings shed light on the potential drawbacks of traditional methods of anger expression and offer alternative strategies for managing intense emotions.

Research on the Effectiveness of V

Up Next

Gen Z Trend: Ghosting Employers on the Rise, Skipping Interviews and First Days

Legalized Sports Betting

A recent survey conducted by the employment website Indeed has shed light on a concerning trend among young job seekers, particularly those belonging to Generation Z. The survey, which polled 1,500 UK workers, revealed that a staggering 75% of respondents admitted to ignoring a prospective employer within the past year.

Among them, Gen Zers exhibited the most pronounced behavior, with a startling 93% admitting to not showing up for scheduled interviews and 87% confessing to skipping their first day of work altogether.

This phenomenon, commonly referred to as ‘ghosting employers,’ reflects a growing trend of job seekers opting out of traditional recruitment processes. While ‘ghosting’ is not a new concept, its prevalence among Gen Z job seekers has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions about the changing dynamics of the job market.

Up Next

Psychiatrists Unveil Internet-Induced Erotomania Case, Emphasizing Risks of Online Romance Fraud

Legalized Sports Betting

In a recent publication in BMC Psychiatry, psychiatrists shed light on a distressing case of internet-induced erotomania, a rare delusional disorder, brought on by online romance fraud. The case study underscores the psychological risks associated with digital interactions, particularly for individuals with preexisting vulnerabilities.

Erotomania, also known as de Clérambault’s syndrome, manifests as a persistent delusional belief that someone, usually of higher social status, is in love with the individual experiencing the delusion, despite minimal or no interaction between them.

This condition, recognized in major psychiatric classifications, reflects a profound misinterpretation of social cues and often leads to one-sided and obsessive pursuits of the perceived admirer.