Legalizing online sports betting has been a hot topic in the United States. The industry is booming and the popularity of wagering on sports is increasing. The American Casino Association estimates that 23.2 million Americans plan to place bets on the Super Bowl, while a further 7.6 million will bet online. The industry will generate $1 billion in revenue by 2020 and is projected to double again by 2023. If legalized, the revenues will surpass $19 billion per year. This means that competition among operators and players will increase the market size and popularity of online gambling.
However, there is a growing concern about the dangers of online gambling. It has been suggested that if people become addicted, they will turn to other forms of gambling, such as illegal drugs. These studies suggest that gambling addiction can lead to a number of problems. Interventions should target problematic online bettors. These messages should target young males and discourage frequent in-play betting, and should also dispel the myth that a person can make money betting online. Furthermore, betting should be made illegal in communities where the majority of population speak a language other than English.
The most effective interventions will focus on problematic online bettors. These include reducing the amount of in-play betting, dissuading the use of illicit drugs, and discouraging in-play betting. Moreover, messages should challenge the myth that one can make money with betting. These public health messages should be available in the language of the community where the user lives. Further, problematic online bettors should be encouraged to seek professional treatment and should be given special attention based on factors such as psychological distress and a high PGSI score.