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MA Attorney General, Pro Teams Partner To Raise Awareness Of Youth Gambling

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on April 3, 2024
MA Attorney General Andrea Campbell Speaks

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced the formation of a new public-private partnership, the Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition. The organization aims to raise awareness of the laws, risks, and public health harms related to sports betting among young people.

Apart from AG’s Office, other founding members of the alliance are:

  • Massachusetts Gaming Commission
  • NCAA
  • Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New England Patriots
  • New England Revolution
  • Boston Celtics
  • Boston Bruins
  • the Civic Action Project

Campbell announced the formation on March 29, during the Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the nationwide annual responsible gambling campaign used to increase awareness of problem gambling.

Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition targets Massachusetts players ages 12-20

The coalition, focusing on state residents between the ages of 12 and 20, plans to improve evidence-based education, training, and health curricula.

The group will also work with sports media and licensed gaming operators to further communicate the risks of gambling.

The recent legalization of MA online sports betting made gambling more accessible, with only a few clicks away from young people. It increased concerns about problem gambling, especially among that age group.

It is illegal for Massachusetts players under 21 to bet on sports. In the meantime, online casinos in Massachusetts remain illegal.

In the Office of the Attorney General press release, Campbell said:

“Because Massachusetts has entered a new era with sports betting now literally available at your fingertips, it is critical that we raise awareness of the public health risks associated with this activity, particularly for young people.

This coalition brings together the business, professional sports, nonprofit and responsible gaming communities to best achieve one common goal: better protect and educate young adults across the Commonwealth.”

According to the press release, commissioner Bradford Hill further stated that MA operators understand the requirements set by the commission to “ensure the strongest possible technical protocols and how critical it is that youth do not have access to gamble.”

Nearly 60% of young bettors are influenced by gambling advertisements

According to the NCAA’s April 2023 survey, among the group of 18-22 year-olds, 58% have engaged in at least one sports betting activity.

The NCAA’s data also revealed that advertisements (print, radio and TV) influence and often reinforce betting activity. About 63% of young people recall recently seeing or hearing advertisements encouraging sports betting activities. After seeing these ads, 58% of young people specified they were more likely to bet.

NCAA president Charlie Baker reminded that “the NCAA is committed to protecting the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of collegiate competition from the harms of sports betting.”

Among other ongoing initiatives, the NCAA recently released a social media campaign targeting college students. The NCAA’s Draw the Line campaign spotlights student-athlete education and the effects of sports betting while addressing problem gambling.

Photo by AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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