Expanded sports betting fuels fears about gambling addiction

Expanded sports betting fuels fears about gambling addiction
FILE - In this Monday, May 14, 2018 file photo, people make bets in the sports book area of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Those who deal with compulsive gambling are worried that a rapid expansion of sports betting in the U.S. could cause more people to develop gambling problems. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The imminent expansion of legalized sports betting promises a bonanza for gambling industries and sports leagues. It promises a new roster of worries for experts and organizations already concerned about pervasive problem gambling.

Much of the apprehension relates to the prospect of myriad forms of online sports betting — accessible to gamblers at any time and location via their mobile phones. There’s particular alarm over the anticipated explosion of “in-game wagering” in which gamblers bet, often at a rapid pace, on play-by-play developments.

Prior the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week, only four states were allowed to offer sports betting and only Nevada offered betting on single games. Now that the court has lifted those bans, there are expectations that most states will offer sports betting within a few years.