Protect Minnesotans from Predatory Sports Gambling
Help protect Minnesotans from predatory gambling
Urge your state representative to vote NO on H.F. 778—a bill that would legalize online sports gambling for people as young as 18 years old.
Efforts are underway at the Capitol to legalize sports betting—including making it available through mobile apps.
We do not need a casino available 24/7 and in every living room, dorm room, and high school senior’s pocket!
Legalizing sports betting will open our doors to a predatory industry that has been linked to the following social ills:
- Increased rates of problem gambling, the precursor to Compulsive Gambling Disorder
- Alarming rates of suicide (One in five problem gamblers will attempt to or will end their lives)
- Increased rates of white-collar crime (theft, embezzlement, credit card fraud)
- Aggressive advertising that targets kids
Catholics should be concerned that legislators are seeking to provide an entertainment option for a privileged few, at the expense of our youth, the poor, and the vulnerable.
Gambling can enslave and harm families:
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2413) states that games of chance (card games, bingo, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. But it also warns that “the passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement,” and that wagers “become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others.”
Wagering on sporting events has been shown to be a form of gambling that is particularly addictive. The bills being considered would not only legalize this form of gambling, but also create unprecedented access by allowing wagers to be placed on one’s home computer or mobile device. The level of exposure to financial loss and deprivation is simply unacceptable, and therefore the Minnesota Catholic Conference and other faith leaders are opposing this proposed gambling expansion.
Advocates argue legalization is needed to create a regulated market for current players. The reality is, sports gambling is not your friendly wager, church basement bingo, or charitable pull tabs. Faith and reason allow us to make a commonsense distinction between low stakes fundraising events sponsored by charitable organizations, and the normalization of a vice industry whose revenues depend upon those who are (or will become) problem gamblers.
Encourage your legislator to protect our state’s common good by taking a stand against the sportsbooks and multinational casino conglomerates who will pad their pockets with Minnesotans’ losses!
If you have...
Three Minutes: After sending your elected officials a quick email, take another minute to call their office or send a video message. A suggested script and talking points will show up on your device. Legislators do not often get calls from their constituents, so a follow-up call or video will increase your impact and further build your relationship.
More Time: Offer an intercessory prayer to St. Bernadine—the patron saint of gamblers—asking for intercession and guidance for those who may be suffering from a compulsion to gamble, or spend an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, praying that God's presence would be made known to families who are being impacted by a compulsive gambler.