Ill-gotten gain-There may be high stakes for states that legalize backroom betting as it becomes more widespread

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In the shadow of the press box at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Strawberry Stadium, Alumni Field’s pitcher’s mound. Both arenas are cold and closed-off, like most of the school. Workers on all fours hand-floating concrete in a new section of sidewalk along North General Pershing Street are the only indication that spring semester is rapidly approaching.

Students returning to the state’s third-largest public university will have plenty of opportunities for new beginnings beyond the classroom. Mobile sports betting apps are expected to be available in Louisiana within the next few weeks following a vote by the state legislature in the summer. So long as it’s before the Super Bowl, that is.

He is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, and he served as president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention during its fight against powerful political operatives who supported gambling legislation. According to the author of the book, “We live in a state addicted to gambling,” and “What I mean by that is the state of Louisiana is addicted to gambling revenue, and they will do anything to see it grow.”

FanDuel and DraftKings will follow suit. They sunk $1 million into the Louisiana market in an effort to establish a presence. The state’s top lobbyists, including 16 of them, were also hired to stifle any opposition. They were mostly successful, but it took a long time to implement because nine parishes refused to allow gambling. As a result, online sportsbooks will have to implement geofencing in order to keep out of certain areas. Although the deal with Caesars Sportsbook was delayed, LSU was able to secure it. The first of its kind in the Southeastern Conference, their partnership gives Caesars digital and broadcast sponsorship rights to all major LSU sports.

Vegas isn’t only targeting Southeastern and LSU, and it’s not just Louisiana that has embraced what was previously illegal. The use of sports betting apps by college students across the country suggests that a crisis is brewing, and this is not far from being the case.

Sportscasters referred to Tiger Woods’ victory in the 2019 Masters Tournament as a “return to glory.” He hadn’t won a major championship in more than a decade, and a fifth green jacket at Augusta National Golf Club seemed impossible.

After seeing Tiger Woods shoot a first-round 2-under 70, Dylan Craig reevaluated his long shot. He made the decision to risk $100 and hoped for the best. In fact, both he and Tiger Woods were seeing green by the 18th hole.

Even after all these years, that 15-fold return is still Craig’s biggest win in gambling. In exchange for one victory, he admits, “there were four or five losses that went along with it.” Yet this is a lot of money for me to risk. The most I’ve ever wagered on a game is $50.

Craig was introduced to sports betting while living in a dorm at the University of South Carolina during the heyday of fantasy football. It wasn’t long after working as a clubhouse manager for the New York Mets that Craig was hooked. His degree in sports entertainment management put him in daily contact with others who shared his passion.

Because you feel like you’re part of something, it makes the games much more interesting to watch. ” As he puts it, “you aren’t just sitting there like a spectator.” He likens the anticipation of the outcome to an adrenaline rush. This is like a roller coaster ride. However, you don’t know where the journey will end.

At the age of 27, Craig is still using a group chat to talk about betting opportunities with friends from his undergrad years. In this case, we’ll say “cool, we’ll ride with you if you decide to bet $10 on this game today.” “I think that’s a huge part of it now, the social aspect of it,” he says.

Addiction counselors are concerned about the non-social nature of digitized gambling. Now, casino patrons aren’t required to enter through the front door. They can now roll the dice at any time of the day or night thanks to the privacy of a touch screen. It’s now easier than ever to place a wager on a sporting event via an app, and bettors can profit from more than just the outcome of games and point spreads. An example of a prop bet is wagering on a specific event in the game, such as who will make the first interception or how many penalties will be called in the first quarter of a football game.

Things were different under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. To bet on games, players had to travel to Nevada or one of a few other states. Until 2018, that is. The Supreme Court struck down the law in 2018. Sports gambling has been legalized in more than 30 states since the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Murphy v. The NCAA freed the states to do so. Eighteen of them have online options.

At Liberty University School of Law in Virginia, residents are free to use apps to gamble all they want. Craig, however, considers himself a player who can take it or leave it. When the NFL season begins, Craig has a $500 bankroll that he cannot afford to lose. “It’s like walking out of a casino when you’re out of money,” he says. “That’s how the apps should be used by the smart ones,” he said.

In contrast, the US Gambling Research Institute estimates that 7 percent of the population in Louisiana suffers from a problem with gambling. Because of their personal losses, their lives and homes are in ruins. According to the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute’s estimate of the social cost of problem gambling in 1996, this equates to about $3 billion annually for Louisiana. That’s more than three times what gambling brought in for the state of Louisiana last year. A former LSU economics professor estimates that at most $915 million was spent.

Louisiana Baptists’ Office of Public Policy is headed by Will Hall. “In 1974, Louisiana adopted a constitution that specifically stated the legislature is charged with suppressing gambling in our state,” he explains. Gambling was renamed “gaming” in 1991, and it’s been redefining itself ever since.

right on cue. and well executed, too. Land-based casinos, riverboat casinos, racetrack casinos, tribe-owned casinos, charitable gaming, the lottery, and pari-mutuel wagering are all found in Louisiana.

State regulators and gambling companies have a cozy relationship, according to the Louisiana Family Forum’s Kathleen Benfield. “The oil and gas industry has been supplanted by gambling as the state’s top revenue generator.” Regulators are now cheerleaders for them. They may need to be dealt with on a national level because they’re so dependent on the revenue. “

When members of the Christian community join forces with the gambling industry, it irritates Hall even more. Faith-based Retired NFL player Drew Brees will be a contributor to exclusive content on Pray’s platform beginning in September. The sports icon appeared in the first of three new PointsBet ads that were released a month later. Meanwhile, as new markets opened, Americans bet $42 billion on sports. There was a nearly two-fold increase in spending, according to the American Gaming Association, over the same period in 2020.

Trace Turner was a walk-on quarterback for the University of Nebraska long before he became a star for the New Orleans Saints. A torn anterior cruciate ligament and a herniated disc marred those years, but the former Husker’s passion for football endured, and he is now content to serve as campus pastor at Arizona Christian University, a school that is “very sports-focused.” App-based betting may still be causing problems for students at ACU, but they may not become apparent for some time: “Most men aren’t affected until they’ve married.” This brings up a whole new set of concerns, and that’s what worries me. They won’t think there’s a problem unless there’s a consequence. “

“Internet sports gambling places the most addictive form of gambling—real-time gambling—at every school desk, at every work desk, and in every living room—making it easy to ‘click your phone, lose your home’ or ‘click your mouse, lose your house.'” This is what John Warren Kindt, a business professor and legal policy expert, told members of Congress in 2018 about the effects of the bill.

He has witnessed the devastation that gambling can cause firsthand. Mentoring relationships have been a part of his and his wife’s work for decades. As a father and a husband, he is concerned about the next generation of men.

Add a glitzy gambling element to video games, and you’ve got nitroglycerin. ” They’re enticing these young people to join them. In the same way that drug dealers give first-time users $200, companies do the same for them. More than $31 million in “first hit” promotional credits were given away when Arizona’s first online sportsbooks opened in September of last year.

Turner, a marriage and family therapist, believes that gambling, because of its financial ramifications, can lead to more marital problems than pornography. With the proliferation of smartphones, “with phones you have 10 million prostitutes in your pocket,” he adds. “The cultural situation in this country is grievous.” Another 10,000 bookies have joined the fray. The enemy uses this tactic in order to divert our attention away from who we really are and what God has created us to be.

Lotteries drew both men and women equally, but slot machines and card tables were preferred by women, according to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (men). Sports betting made the gap between men and women even bigger. In the UCLA treatment program, 24% of men gambled on sports, but only 24% of women had done the same.

Because of this, sports betting ads on the internet are geared toward appealing to young males. Critics of the industry say that data profiling software can be used to make personalized mixes of sensory feedback and play speed that make people want to keep playing.

Compulsive gamblers are often difficult to spot. Dakota Henry, a chaplain at Baylor University’s Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center, says that while friends and family won’t notice bloodshot eyes or fidgety legs, they can spot something else—shame.

At the Celebrate Recovery meetings he facilitates, it’s evident in the hunched shoulders, averted gaze, and dead silence. All kinds of addictions—porn, drugs, eating disorders, alcohol, gambling, etc.—are addressed by groups meeting at the center in a former yogurt shop. At the dedication of the facility in 2017, university leaders explained to reporters that its central location on campus was deliberate. Addiction is a reality, and Baylor was not going to pretend it didn’t exist.

Gambling may be the most dangerous of all the addictions Baylor students face. In this country, one in every five problem gamblers attempts suicide.Lilly Ettinger, the director of the center, says that the path to addiction can begin as early as preschool. This begins with children playing Candy Crush and paying 99 cents for loot boxes through microtransactions. Even though it’s a game of chance, it feels like a game of skill. “

For this reason, according to Ettinger, a lot of young adults think of sports betting as a harmless pastime or a legal side hustle. She claims, however, that by the time students arrive at the center, they’ve already lost a significant amount of money. a thousand dollars or a thousand times that. We’ve had a few people lose six-figure sums of money. They lose money that they worked hard for or that was given to them as an inheritance to help them buy a house someday. The sum in question is irrelevant. Someone has stepped over the new line. They’re afraid. “They are dejected and hopeless,” they say.

Ettinger stresses that their program is not a detox. Student spiritual skills such as Bible study, prayer, and Sabbath rest are taught by “recovery coaches” on staff at the center.

According to Henry, they don’t spend a lot of time discussing whether gambling is a sin or not. Gambling, in and of itself, is not a good idea.Rather than causing harm, let’s focus on doing what is beneficial and beneficial.

Installing content blocks to prevent the download of sports betting apps on phones and computers can be proactive for recovering gamblers. Ettinger believes that recovery will be a lifelong struggle for some people, one that can only be won by God’s grace. She smiles as she says, “But God grants grace quite freely.” Doing things to help people recover is a responsibility, but it is no different from how we all strive to live righteously.

More than 100 students were enrolled in Baylor’s addiction recovery programs last semester. Because some administrators and pastors aren’t talking about it, it’s natural, according to Ettinger, to assume that gambling isn’t an issue. In other words, if no one comes to you with addiction-related problems, it’s not because no one has them. It’s because they’re embarrassed and believe they’re the only ones who feel this way.

Seats at Southeastern University’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry, a replica of the Beauchamp Center in Baylor, sit empty as new semesters begin. On a quiet Tuesday, Pastor Cranford is joined by fellow anti-gambling activists Will Hall and Kathleen Benfield. While discussing the legislative session of last year, the conversation shifts to what they plan to do in the future.

Maybe there should be rules in place to prevent colleges from forming joint ventures with the gambling industry.

When children are most likely to be watching and listening, limit their advertising…

They gather around a table with a view of Strawberry Stadium through a wall of windows. When football season rolls around, the bleachers will be packed with eager spectators, many of whom will be under the legal gambling age in Louisiana, which is 21. Even if the three people sitting around the table are correct, it won’t have much of an impact on the current gambling revolution. They must grasp the truth of Proverbs 1:19, which states that greed for unjust gain robs its possessors of their lives.

In the past few years, Louisiana has been wracked by a string of devastating natural disasters: “We’ve had four hurricanes, two major ice storms, two flooding events, I think five tornadoes,” says Hall. In my opinion, “all of that will pale in comparison to the devastation that sports betting will bring.”

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