Kindbridge Behavioral Health, a mental health organization, has published an important insight into the current state of problem gambling across the US, ahead of the forthcoming Super Bowl. However, not just the championship game stirs up concerns over problem gambling. The fast-paced development of online gambling in many US states and the latest tech advancements within the gambling industry call for ramping up the available resources for problem gambling.
Kindbridge Behavioral Health turned the spotlight on the recent CBC News’ 60-Minutes piece, highlighting the sports betting boom in the US and its impact on vulnerable society groups, especially young males aged 25-34. According to data from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, the greatest number of calls to problem gambling helplines came from this particular sector of the US population. Simultaneously, gambling operators are not making the situation any easier, targeting young individuals and enticing them into sports betting.
The popular TV show went on to describe the tantalizing effect of the sports betting industry on young men through an interview with Joe Ruscillo, a 26-year-old man. He described the impact of mobile sports betting on his life, stressing how accessible the industry has become: “I would place a bet on anything, anywhere, at any time.”
Harry Levant, a prominent gambling addiction therapist, and former problem gambler, also spoke about the ubiquitousness of mobile wagering and its impact, especially on young men. As for the financial aspect of the popular pastime, the expert explained that his patients resorted to various sources such as federal student loan money or inheritances.
AI-Driven Technology Can Be Useful Both for Customer Retention and Identifying Problem Gambling
Levant also pointed out the impact of artificial intelligence on the sports betting industry. On the one hand, AI-driven technologies are utilized to gather customer data and send specifically tailored offers to users. On the other hand, the same AI technology can be very useful for identifying problem gambling patterns in customers.
Matt Zarb-Cousin, a leading gambling reformer in the UK was also interviewed. He underlined the fact that gambling addiction is intensified by the amount of information gambling companies know about their customers. He also said that these businesses have the necessary data to pinpoint problem gamblers and consequently, intervene, where necessary.
Kindbridge Behavioral Health noted that companies such as DraftKings and BetMGM have collaborated with them to provide their customers with greater access to online problem gambling support. However, DraftKings has declined an interview with 60-Minutes.
The program’s last interviewee was Bill Miller, president of the American Gaming Association. He commented on the fact that following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling on sports gambling, clinicians are drawing attention to a rise in problem gambling. Although he conceded that was true, he explained that the regulated gambling industry “flagged those people”, unlike the unregulated sector. While he confirmed that US sports betting operators examined betting patterns to identify problem gambling behavior, he admitted that more needs to be done to implement “a uniform industry-wide policy” in this respect.