A study in Spain showed a significant increase in “young pathological gamblers” after the country legalized online gambling, adding that the immediacy and accessibility of online gambling made it “more addictive than any other type of game.”
Despite their gloom about the immediate impact, the Christians who worked on the issue for decades are a bit more optimistic about the future. “This is the third historical wave of gambling in America,” said Grey. “It has a boom-bust cycle to it. Why? Because it doesn’t work.”
Sports betting has surged recently without any curbs. That makes the problems with gambling more visible to Americans, he thinks, and will spur bipartisan interest in regulating the industry.
He remembered in 1999 arranging a meeting between Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Focus on the Family president James Dobson to discuss gambling, and the two wrote a joint letter calling gambling “the bane of millions of Americans.” Nader targeted Republicans who supported casino interests, and Dobson targeted Democrats.
“It’s that’s kind of movement that’s needed today … the same right-left combination, this is something we agree on,” said Grey. “Let’s call for more regulation and get advertising under control. Those are doable things.”
The American Gambling Association has projected a record 31.4 million Americans will put down $7.6 billion on today's LA Rams–Cincinnati Bengals matchup.
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) February 13, 2022