The impact of sports betting on problem gamblers and CT revenue becomes clearer in the new report

Connecticut officials have released a new study examining the impact of legalized gambling on the state’s residents just days before a record year for Super Bowl betting. It is the first study of its kind for Connecticut since the state legislature legalized online sports betting in 2021.

According to the report, about one in 10 adults in Connecticut said they bet on professional sports, e-sports and fantasy sports at a sportsbook, casino or online site.

The study also found that 1.8%, or about 50,000 residents of the state, have a gambling problem. About half of the state’s revenue from online sports betting comes from these individuals.

“Considering that the availability of legal gambling in both Connecticut and North America in general continued to increase beyond the early 2000s, the current relatively low rate of problem gambling shows that the population tends to adapt to the presence over time accustomed to legalized gambling,” write the authors of the study.

Around 139,000 people were also considered “at risk” of gambling problems. About 40% of people with gambling problems reported being in a relationship, underscoring the broader scope of gambling problems in Connecticut, according to the study authors.

The study was conducted by Gemini Research Inc. for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS).

Since the last government-sponsored gambling study in 2009, the rate of gambling problems among residents has not increased, the report shows. In fact, this rate has fallen slightly over the past three decades – from 3.2% in 1991.

“In general, this is very consistent with general trends in North America, which show that problem gambling rates peaked in the late 1990s/early 2000s and have been declining since then,” the report said.

The examination, which Connecticut law requires to occur periodically, ran from January to August 2023. Gemini found that those struggling most commonly reported problems related to their mental health, their finances, their… Relationships and their work or school reported.

The report’s recommendations include greater government support for people who show signs of gambling addiction. Researchers cite stigma or lack of knowledge of available resources as barriers to getting help.

If you need help with a gambling disorder, contact the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling at 1-888-789-7777. Online materials are also available on the DMHAS website.

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