Mobile, online sports betting could increase bad gambling behaviors

With a prevalence rate of gambling addiction that is already more than twice the national average, New Jersey’s aggressive introduction of mobile and online sports betting has raised some concerns among responsible gaming advocates and experts.

Ease of access, expanded wagering options and increased marketing toward a new demographic of gambler are among the key issues that Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said could amplify both the number of people who develop poor gambling behaviors and the severity of the problem for sports bettors in the Garden State.

“I don’t think we’re really prepared for those things coming together,” Whyte said.

During a congressional hearing on federal sports betting regulations last month, Whyte referred to those combined factors as a “Frankenstein monster” that is “unprecedented in America, and indeed anywhere else in the world.”

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