If a new bill in the Michigan Senate proves successful, Michiganders could be among the most knowledgeable when it comes to responsible gambling education. If knowledge is power, then players at Michigan casinos and the like could therefore be among the most powerful.
The bill would require the Michigan Dept. of Education to develop a curriculum for adolescents and children on gambling responsibly. It could augment similar initiatives that are already ongoing in the state.
Michigan could implement new responsible gambling education
Michigan Sen. Joseph Bellino introduced SB 54 on Feb. 7. The bill would require the Dept. of Education to offer educational materials to schools, both public and private, by Jul. 1, 2024, on the topic of responsible gambling.
It would not mandate the instruction of such material at the schools, however. At this point, the bill is in the Michigan Senate’s Committee on Education. It’s unclear how much support the bill has in that committee and the larger state legislature.
Bellino is confident that it is necessary, however. According to Drew Ellis of PlayMichigan, Bellino released a statement about the bill.
“With the popularity of mobile betting apps and online sports betting now being legal in over 30 states, teenagers are having problems with gambling addiction. It has been reported that many young people don’t see gambling as risky and that the percentage of high school students with a gambling problem is double that of adults.
My bill has bipartisan support to head off this growing problem by acting to raise awareness among our students about the real risks of gambling.”
This legislation surfaces as other bodies in Michigan are also ramping up efforts to augment their responsible gambling measures.
A concerted effort in the Great Lakes State
Ellis also reports that the Michigan Gaming Control Board has improved upon its financial resources to support responsible gambling education. The new funding has contributed to more staff and programs toward that end.
Yet, those educational resources can often reach people after they have already established their gambling habits, for better or for worse. At that point, replacing poor habits with healthier behavior patterns is a challenge.
Perhaps more effective is an approach of helping students to head off bad habits before they even surface. That will be contingent on schools’ effective use of responsible gambling education. If Bellino’s bill becomes law, such materials will be available.