A while back we wrote an editorial about the clear and obvious evils of the easy availability of sports gambling via smartphones. This past Sunday evening, the news program 60 Minutes had a segment on exactly that topic, highlighting how young men under the age of 25 have become addicted to on-line sports gambling, where they can place a bet not only on the outcome of a game, but also literally wager on every play, pitch, and moment across the international sporting world, simply with the push of a button on their smartphones at all hours of the day and night.
The report noted that many young men have gambled away their college loan money and their inheritances because of their addiction to these so-called sports books. The advertising for these gaming sites, such as Draft Kings and FanDuel, pitched by high-profile celebrities, makes it look like harmless fun. But as 60 Minutes noted, the reality is far darker.
We have no problem with sports betting when it is done at a casino or similar venue. However, allowing it to happen via a smartphone invites addictive behavior, especially by young people, that can lead them to financial ruin and a lifetime of gambling addiction.
In our view, it is clear that the companies such as Draft Kings, FanDuel, and others are nothing less than predatory monsters that seek to take advantage of vulnerable young people.
Just as our state legislature realized two generations ago that lowering the drinking age to 18 was a societal disaster, we call upon our state legislators to revise the laws that allow these sports betting houses to prey on vulnerable individuals 24/7/365.