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The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

Friends Select Student News Media

The Falcon

How Does Gambling Addiction Affect the Economy?

Baishampayan Ghose

Due to the rise of sports betting over the past couple of years, gambling addictions have become a greater concern in this generation. Sports gambling is not just a fun game anymore – it has become a huge economic force, bringing tons of growth and wealth to the government and sports industries. However, along with the financial benefits, there is also a downside: people get addicted to gambling. As sports gambling is becoming more accessible and acceptable in society, especially online, it is important to know how it affects people and the economy. By looking at the impact of gambling addiction on the economy, we can figure out how to balance the benefits of sports betting with the risks it brings to people and communities. 

Sports gambling has brought in a 44.5% year-over-year increase in revenue since 2022, which previously held the record. Americans wagered a record $119.84 billion on sports betting in 2023, up 27.5% from 2022. The main source of income for these betting apps is large events like the Super Bowl. Americans bet more than $185.6 million on Super Bowl LVIII with the state’s sportsbooks, beating last year’s Super Bowl by almost 6 million dollars. Every state that has legalized sports betting, has profited as a government and is able to produce more income. According to SPGlobal, “Gambling taxes generated $14.4 billion for state and local governments in 2023.” Due to these numbers, sports betting has grown tremendously and is now heavily advertised and promoted.  

The popularity of sports betting is driven by a combination of technological advancements, widespread accessibility, and shifting cultural attitudes toward social betting. With popularity also comes a large increase in income for states with legalized sports gambling. These numbers will continue to grow as long as the government continues to legalize sports betting in all states since it benefits the economy. From ESPN, “I think we’re in some ways victims of our own success over the past five years in that we now have 38 states plus DC that have already taken the step of legalizing and regulating sports betting, so there’s a lot fewer states left on the board”. Recently, the Supreme Court passed a law legalizing sports betting, and most states didn’t hesitate to incorporate it into their societies. “Sports betting became possible in May 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down the Amateur Sports Protection Act. Since then, 38 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have legalized some form of sports betting though not all have implemented it,” from RSM US.

The culture of sports betting has evolved dramatically, influencing not only how people interact with sports, but also how they navigate risk and reward. One specific reason that sports gambling has evolved is the advancements in data analytics. Advanced data analytics have allowed gamblers to look deeper into a player or a team’s stats so that they can more easily predict what will happen. “Analytics are becoming increasingly integrated into every aspect of the industry, providing enhanced insights into athlete data for teams and extending into the consumer realm, particularly the sports betting vertical.” 

Due to the advancements in online sports betting, the amount of people participating has grown tremendously. However, the normalization and accessibility of sports betting, particularly with online platforms, have caused overall gambling addictions to rise. With easy access to betting on mobile devices, people engage in financial risk for a high reward. It is important that while promoting, companies address these addictions, which does not mean to stop promoting sports gambling, but provide ways to gamble responsibly and to support people who do gamble. 

The growing population of sports betting has also left an effect on youth culture, which could raise concerns for other generations. With the normalization and accessibility of online sports betting, young people are exposed to and tempted to gamble at an early age. Not only does this raise concern about developing gambling addictions at a young age, but it complicates the idea of risk and reward for the youth. From the Institute For Healthcare Policy and Innovation,  “In our modern digital age, the normalization of sports betting has seeped into youth culture, raising concerns about its impact on the next generation. With easy access to online platforms, young people are increasingly exposed to gambling activities, shaping their attitudes towards risk and reward from an early age.”

The media is further enabling younger generations. Youth culture advances the social side of betting, making them more at risk of becoming addicted. Therefore, it is crucial that when companies address issues of sports betting, they target the youth from potential addiction to sports gambling. If companies are able to successfully promote responsible sports betting, then sports betting would be able to benefit sports industries economically, while also protecting the youth.

The rise of sports betting has definitely brought huge economic benefits in recent years, providing a main source of income for the government and sports industries. Although gambling has brought many benefits, the idea of addiction is a challenge due to the online accessibility combined with the youth. There is a balance when it comes to promoting sports betting, but it is essential to the economy to keep gaining wealth through gambling, and the issue becomes even more complicated. 



“Experts Say Increased Access to Online Gambling May Put Teens at Risk.” Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation. Accessed May 7, 2024.

Greenberg, Doug. “Sports Betting Industry Posts Record $11B in 2023 Revenue.” ESPN. May 7, 2024.

Reynolds, Mike. “American Gaming Association: Legal Sports Betting Hits Record Revenue in 2023.” S&P Global Homepage, February 21, 2024.,the%20total%20revenue%20in%202023.

“Technological Advancements in Sports Elevate Fan Engagement and Team Success.” RSM US. Accessed May 7, 2024.

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Scott Aaronson is a senior at Friends Select School. He has been a student at FSS for 13 years. He has played baseball and basketball for 8 of those years and is a 12-season athlete during high school. Scott is working with FSS alumni this year for The Falcon.

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