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Sports Betting – state legislators get more than they bargained for

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The post 2018 relaxation of sports betting laws in the US has growing consequences, especially since the end of the pandemic. Not all of them are good.

Sports betting is currently lawful and under way in 34 states plus DC, and lawful and soon to be active in 4 more. State governments have sought and welcomed the extra revenue they’ll receive. For the same reason, many sports teams and their sports’ governing bodies have generally welcomed the move too.

Such are the huge amounts of money to make from gambling that, as soon as laws permit sports betting, gambling gets everywhere. Advertising and sponsorship are hard to avoid. The siren call of easy wins belies the fact that most gamblers lose more than they make, sometimes by an enormous margin.

This does not make betting automatically bad, but clearly the activity on a large scale comes with significant social risks which need to be addressed.

Gambling trends sound alarm bells

In a recent article in The Messenger*, Mansur Shaheen quotes at some length from comments by Lia Nower, Ph.D., the director of Centers for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University, New Jersey – one of the states at the forefront of post 2018 gambling law changes.

Her message is simple. The increased availability of sports betting (and its glamorization) is attracting a younger demographic who are willing to take big risks. This includes making live (in-game) bets and parleys (linked multiple bets) in the hope of larger payouts.

But the odds are stacked against the gambler. And as Dr Nower points out, around 70% of all bets are lost. This is not all. The frenzy around much sports betting is exactly the environment which can trigger addiction and attract existing gambling addicts.

Gambling addiction: easy to hide, and often with tragic consequences

Because most sports betting is done on a smartphone, it’s easy to hide. The harm, however, can be very visible: families torn apart by deceit and debt, individual financial ruin, and a higher-than-average levels of attempted and actual suicide.

In the manner of bolting a stable door, many states are responding with guidelines and regulatory frameworks. Initially these may seem relatively modest but if problem gambling continues to grow then stricter laws might easily be introduced.

It is obvious that the industry itself must take action if it is to help wider society avoid significant social harm and mitigate the levels of regulation that could stifle profitable activity.

Compliance with state regulations is a minimum but there is another way to manage the affliction of problem gambling: accurate tracking of the behaviours of individual gamblers.

Comprehensive monitoring, globally, at an individual level

At Essiell Compli (specialists in next generation anti-money laundering capabilities), our Compli suite of services is designed to provide always-on real time transaction monitoring.

For an individual platform this is an important extra strength. When several gambling platforms collaborate, the effect is magnified. With every transaction monitored, it becomes impossible for an addict to hide their compulsion by using several platforms and accounts.  Behaviors on one platform may not trigger an alarm bell; similar behaviors on several definitely will.

Compli’s strengths include

  • Easy to use cloud-based services, compatible with existing IT systems
  • Real time surveillance, always on
  • Customizable without limit and supremely responsive to individual user needs
  • Use of the Global Person – an individual profile for each monitored account holder, built from multiple databases
  • Worldwide applicability using Amazon Web Services
  • A powerful force for good, helping to identify problem gamblers and limit the harm their addictions can cause.

We believe all gambling operators should help safeguard their customers. It’s the socially responsible thing to do, and it also makes good sense financially – fewer problem gamblers means smoother operations and, the aim of all business, greater profitability.

If you’d like to find out more about how Essiell Compli and Compli can help identify problem gambling and protect businesses, communities, and families, get in touch via our website , www.essiell-compli.com ,  or by email to enquiries@essiell-compli.com   

By Bjorn Larsson, Chairman of Essiell Compli.

*Sports Gambling Is ‘Car Crash About to Happen’: Expert (A leading gambling researcher wants to curb the budding market in the U.S.)

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