Series

What is Sports Betting Doing to Us?

Link in Bio with Jenny and Alejandro
Professor Brett Abarbanel, Executive Director of the UNLV International Gaming Institute, recaps the recent history of sports betting and forecasts its potentially problematic future. Plus, are young people even cognitively capable of making smart bets?
Show transcript
00:00
Yo serious. I'm serious right now,
00:02
Jenny. You know,
00:02
when I realized that I was addicted to online gambling,
00:05
when, when I was up on a Tuesday morning because it
00:09
was 4 a.m. gambling on a Russian basketball team.
00:12
Russians have basketball teams.
00:14
They have a whole league over there.
00:15
And your boy was trying to flip $5 to 5000.
00:18
0 my God. Since the Supreme Court,
00:21
let states legalize sports betting in 2018.
00:23
Studies show gambling addiction is on the rise in young people.
00:27
Wait, like, how old do you have to be,
00:29
to be able to bet online?
00:31
Some states is 18 and others are 21 but a lot have
00:35
shifted over to 21.
00:37
I wonder why the majority of online bets are young men and
00:41
half of them feel like they bet more than they should.
00:44
Is that you? Yes.
00:46
What's the most you've ever won?
00:47
I won 1500 on a $5 bet.
00:51
Pedro. Ask me how much I've lost.
00:55
Well, in New Jersey help hotlines have tripled.
01:00
Oh, like the hotlines for family.
01:02
I need help. I need help and,
01:03
and the main age range is like 25 to 34.
01:07
But I have a theory,
01:08
I'm like the real people calling it is like those dudes that
01:11
are gambling like their spouses and partners.
01:13
So they or or they're making them call making.
01:15
I mean experts say gambling is increasing in young people due to
01:20
developing brains. So my brain is still Avita developing.
01:25
I gotta take care of it.
01:27
I got one more year,
01:29
what it says 34 still growing.
01:32
So like studies show too that it may be happening more in
01:36
the black and Latino communities.
01:38
Like they're the ones that are like mostly like over betting.
01:42
Yeah, I clearly I'm an over bet.
01:44
Well, hopefully, hopefully you get better at betting.
01:48
Well, I I can't online gamble out here.
01:50
So, so here to speak about the current state of online
01:54
gambling is Professor Brett Abarbanel,
01:57
executive director of the UN LV International Gaming Institute.
02:01
Hi, Professor, welcome.
02:04
Hello. Thank you for having me.
02:06
Thank you for coming on.
02:07
We appreciate it. So it feels like there's new ways to
02:10
bet on games every day is sports booking just going to keep
02:14
growing or what you're right.
02:16
It does feel like that doesn't it?
02:18
They're always coming on.
02:19
There's all these new areas that are showing up in our everyday
02:22
lives and something really important to,
02:25
to realize is this concept that betting and sports have actually been
02:29
tied together way before this current growth in the United States.
02:34
This goes back hundreds and thousands of years.
02:36
We have tons of examples from history.
02:39
There are some North American tribes,
02:41
for example, that would bet on lacrosse matches that they'd have
02:44
between the tribes. They would pile up all of their like
02:48
beautiful ostentatiously, gorgeous,
02:50
valuable on the side of the pitch and then they tie them
02:53
all together with rope and then this would,
02:55
this would sit and loom over the players while they played the
02:59
match. On the flip side,
03:01
we also have historical instances where betting actually has helped lead to
03:06
rules and creation of parts of the game.
03:10
So for example, some of the earliest rules in cricket and
03:12
in golf were actually to resolve betting disputes,
03:16
you know, 100 plus years ago.
03:18
And today, all of this history is compounded by something that's
03:22
tracked across pretty much every single one of the episodes that happened
03:27
on this channel, which is technology,
03:30
the ways that we can be tracked and offered all sorts of
03:33
different personalized things, right?
03:35
Like personalized bets come up all the time.
03:38
This also exists in betting.
03:40
Sports. Betting really feels like it's growing because it's growing so
03:44
much more in our public awareness and it's evolving with this new
03:48
technology. The activity itself has been around a really long time
03:53
but it's never really been so pervasive in our lives,
03:56
especially in America as it is now.
03:58
And that really makes it feel like this growth is just astronomical
04:02
professor can in professional sports survived the temptation.
04:06
I don't know if you were aware last week show he got
04:08
caught up.,
04:10
yesterday there was an NBA player,
04:12
like, are we gonna be seeing this trend with players getting
04:15
tied into, you know,
04:16
rumors of online betting or is it,
04:18
is it, is there gonna be a divorce?
04:20
Eventually? I would say that the answer to to your first
04:24
question, right? Can sports survive these temptations?
04:27
The answer is yes,
04:28
professional sports will survive.
04:30
And my answer is driven by history.
04:33
There's been legal sports betting all over the world for a very
04:36
long time and there have been scandals all over the world for
04:40
a very long time.
04:42
Tim Donaghy, the basketball referee Pete Rose in baseball betting
04:46
the Black Sox scandal in 1919.
04:49
Right? If we go back over 100 years now,
04:52
eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of purposefully losing
04:57
the World Series and this was tied to the mob.
05:00
This was tied to gambling scandal.
05:03
So corruption throughout sport can become self reinforcing.
05:07
It can just keep going and going and going if nothing is
05:09
done about it. And that means we really need to have
05:12
good governance that comes from so many different parts of sports that
05:17
comes from the sports organizations.
05:18
It comes from the players,
05:20
it comes from the gambling entities,
05:22
it comes from the general public,
05:23
it comes from people like us holding these different groups accountable when
05:27
we start, see these sorts of things occur and then also
05:30
at the same time protecting those that are getting harmed by it
05:33
right? Like you were talking about,
05:35
right? So he is getting caught caught up in all this
05:37
We also have somebody who from what we can tell has
05:40
a gambling problem and needs help on that front as well.
05:44
Thank you so much,
05:45
professor and just a quick question.
05:48
Who's your pick to win?
05:49
March Madness? That's not fair because you and Vi really fell
05:56
on this front, but appreciate you coming on and breaking down
06:00
the, the, the online betting laws and,
06:03
and the current state of online gambling.
06:06
thank you.
06:06
I learned a lot professor.
06:07
So did I, so did.
06:09
I thanks so much for having me take care.
06:12
Thank you too.