FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2018
CONTACT: Cait Huble
Washington, D.C. – The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has issued the following statement after the announcement of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association. The US Supreme Court has declared the federal ban on sports betting to be unconstitutional. By repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the Supreme Court opens the door for any state to legalize sports betting.
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is the largest potential expansion of gambling in our nation’s history now that an additional 49 states have the opportunity to legalize sports betting. NCPG believes the expansion of legalized sports gambling in the United States will likely increase gambling participation and gambling problems unless steps are taken to minimize harm,” says Marlene Warner, President of the NCPG Board of Directors.
“Everyone who profits from sports betting bears responsibility for gambling problems. The only ethical and economical way to maximize benefits from sports betting is to minimize problem gambling harm,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director. “Therefore, any governmental body and sports league that receives a direct percentage or portion of sports betting revenue must also dedicate funds to prevent and treat gambling problems.”
“As the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families, NCPG encourages everyone involved in the expansion of sports betting to work with us to minimize harm and maximize sustainability. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all facets of the industry, including legislators, regulators, operators, manufacturers, customers, and health care, as well as the recovery community,” said Whyte.
NCPG’s wide-ranging and deep experience in these fields since 1972 allows the organization to provide a clear-eyed perspective on both the benefits and pitfalls of legalized gambling, and to find a middle way that addresses concerns on all sides. Revenues from legalized sports betting must be viewed in the context of social costs. Research has shown that current gambling activity generates over $115 billion in overall revenue to local, state and federal government, but also results in $6.5 billion in associated costs, including criminal justice and healthcare costs. These costs are often hidden and difficult to see. Approximately 2% of adults experience gambling problems, or approximately 5 million people. These social and economic impacts must not be ignored.
The NCPG Board of Directors issued a Resolution on the Legalization of Sports Gambling in February 2017 that included specific recommendations on preventing problem gambling and encouraging responsible gaming for three key stakeholder groups: legislators and regulators; leagues and teams; and the media. In March 2018 the Board followed up by issuing Responsible Gambling Principles for Sports Gambling Legislation.
Resolution on the Legalization of Sports Gambling
NCPG’s Resolution on the Legalization of Sports Gambling calls upon all stakeholders in the discussion over legalized sports gambling to recognize the potential impact on gambling addiction. The resolution offers direct actions for legislators and regulators, leagues and teams, and the media to minimize harm as a result of increased gambling participation.
Responsible Gaming Principles for Sports Gambling Legislation
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s Responsible Gaming Principles for Sports Gambling Legislation provide a basis for new regulations and legislation that may be enacted to allow sports betting. The principles will help protect individuals, gaming companies, and legislators by assisting the creation of reasonable efforts to prevent harm and provide treatment.
About National Council of Problem Gambling
NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gaming. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem in the United States, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat for confidential help.
To schedule an interview with Keith Whyte, please contact Cait Huble at 202-360-4560 or CaitH@ncpgambling.org.