Stop Online Sports Gambling

Stop Online Sports Gambling

This week, as early as Wednesday, legislators will be voting on a bill that would legalize online sports gambling, raising concerns about the potential negative impacts on individuals and communities.

Commercialized sports gambling is addictive and often leads to problem gambling. Our own state Department of Health pointed out in a 2017 report that "broken relationships, unemployment, loss of housing, co–occurring mental illness, or substance use disorders, crime and suicide are some of the harmful effects of problem gambling experienced by individuals, families and communities." The bill being considered would undoubtedly increase the economic and social burdens that problem gambling presents for our state.  

The American Psychiatric Association recognizes problem gambling as a mental health disorder, plus research shows that one in five compulsive gamblers attempt suicide. Some elected officials think it is a good idea to put a casino in every living room, dorm room, and workplace. Given the public health implications, we know this is a bad policy. 

In addition to public health, the legislature also has a responsibility to consider the impact that gambling expansion will have on youth development. Legislators can’t legalize sports gambling without also opening the door to a blizzard of gambling advertising that will undoubtedly reach the eyes and ears of children. The tobacco industry has targeted kids despite smoking only being legal for 18+. Why would another industry which profits off addiction be different?  

The legislature has a responsibility to protect Minnesota’s youth from this harmful advertising. 

Please urge your state legislators to vote no on online sports gambling.  

Read the Letter Faith Leaders have shared with Governor Walz

Watch and Read MCC's Testimony in Opposition to Legalized Sports Betting in Minnesota.


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