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US Sports Betting Troubles & the SAFE Bet Act

US Sports Betting Troubles & the SAFE Bet Act

The US sports betting industry is under fire after several major scandals involving professional athletes and gambling. Now the main stream media is calling for changes amid concerns of addiction risks and player protections. Enter the SAFE Bet Act, which could bring some big changes to the American sports betting industry, but could also save it.

As I prepare to leave for my summer vacation both the NBA and NHL championship series are underway, and with them lots of US sports betting action. On that note, I would like to leave you with
some good news before I take my time off. I’d like… to but I can’t. When it comes to professional athletes and gambling in America, league policies are pretty damn clear: Players are allowed to bet on sports, provided they follow two simple rules: Number one, only use legal, regulated sports betting providers. And number two, do not bet on games from the league that you’re playing in! Sounds pretty damn simple! And yet…

Players from professional sports leagues are being suspended and banned for life over gambling violations! There have even been some arrests, although no players have been to jail. And by now, most everyone has heard of the MLB case involving Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter. And yet through all of this, the professional leagues are still making money hand over fist… from US sports betting! Some in the mainstream media say that this is just the beginning of America’s problem with sports betting, and that soon the leagues are going to face a day of reckoning for embracing gambling.

Major outlets like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post have already begun to publish negative stories about sports betting expansion, connecting the activity with addiction. CNN and Time both released articles claiming that Americans, including college students, are now becoming hooked on gambling, which could kill the country!

So, is US sports betting headed for trouble in 2024? Yes… and no. Right now. it’s just growing pains. There’s still plenty of time to make things right, and new Federal legislation is actually in the works to help protect players! The SAFE Bet Act has been introduced by a congressman from New York, and if it passes it would bring some major changes to the sports betting industry! First, it would ban sports betting ads during live sporting events, and ban operators from promoting bonus bets. It would prohibit sports books from  accepting credit cards, and limit player deposits to five per day.

It would also restrict sports books from using Artificial Intelligence to track player activity, and from creating specific prop bet offers for those players. By now some of you may be wondering if all of this will be enough to save US sports betting, and honestly, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what I believe, and who I think our savior will be: The professional sports leagues themselves!  Now that the leagues have had a taste of those millions and millions of extra dollars that sports betting brings in, they don’t want to lose that! 10 years ago the leagues were our strongest enemies… and today they might just be our strongest allies. And with that said, I’m going on vacation! I’ll see you all again in two weeks!


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