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New sports betting law brings worries of addiction

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hoosiers will soon be able to legally bet on sports. The new legislation may lead to valuable revenue for the state, but not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

The idea of winning money is hard to turn down, especially when it relates to something you love. While Hoosiers might be looking to increase the size of their wallet, the state is looking at sports betting to increase its own as an extra $100 million is projected to come in for the state annually.

“The industry will be healthier, the state will be healthier, we’ll be more competitive and better positioned for a bright future,” Casino Association of Indiana President and CEO Matt Bell said.

Some people are still concerned the ease of access to a mobile device or the popularity of sports betting will open the floodgates for new addicts to come in.

“It’s accepted,” Indiana Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director Christina Gray said. “It’s kind of it will become the norm and accepted and that can cause problems for people who do have a problem with gambling.”

The law does have a portion of the taxes it collects going to help problem gamblers and addicts. About 3.33% of the taxes are going to help addictions, with 25% of that going to help problem gambling.

“We’re excited to see problem gaming funding committed from new sports wagering revenue to combat that, identify it, combat it, educate it,” Bell said.

“I would like to see more money go toward the treatment, the actual treatment of problem gamblers,” Gray said. “And so, I’m very thankful that we’re getting some money, but I would like to see at least more of it dedicated toward problem gambling.”

Since the law was just signed Wednesday, it’s hard to tell exactly what the future is going to bring. While proponents of the law say they’ve made a responsible system, others want to make sure you know when you’re getting in too deep.

If gambling starts to affect your health and others around you, it may be time to ask for help.

The Indiana Council on Problem Gambling says putting a specific amount of money aside for entertainment can help curb the addiction.

As far as the rules under the new law, not everything is completely set in stone yet. The Indiana Casino Association says they’re going to be spending the summer looking at the rules and how they’re going to implement everything and hope that the money going toward problem gambling will help those in need.