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Tuesday - May 15, 2018 2:04 am

Mayo therapist: Legalized sports betting could cause problems

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Signs for Monmouth Park are displayed in a bar at the racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., Monday, May 14, 2018. The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Signs for Monmouth Park are displayed in a bar at the racetrack in Oceanport, N.J., Monday, May 14, 2018. The Supreme Court on Monday gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Sports gambling is now legal in some states.

New Jersey won in a lawsuit filed by several professional sports leagues in a decision by the Supreme Court, which ruled a 1992 law banning sports betting everywhere was unconstitutional.

Will Wisconsin pass the law? Hopefully not says therapist Eddie Luker at Mayo Health System in La Crosse.

"The more access we have to gambling, the more increase problems we're going to see," he said. "We saw that with the increasing casino gambling and lotteries.

Luker says the danger about sports gambling compared with other forms is it happens to attract the younger gambler, who is more likely to develop addiction.

"Twenty-six percent of all high school studetns have placed a sports bet," Luker said. "It's an energetic action orientated gambling. Where like going to the casino and using a slot machine is more passive."

Luker says history shows the more accessibility to gambling there is, the higher number of problem gamblers there are.

"For the problem gambler, though," he said, "there's that chasing the loss or having to bet more money the next time just to get the same level of thrill."

Drew Kelly

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