Both Proposition 26 and 27 want voters to broaden the bounds of what constitutes legal gaming, and gambling addiction experts are concerned that this may expose more people to the possibility of developing gambling problems.
Gambling, which seems to be a pricey topic in more ways than one, is one of the decisions that Californians need to make before the election in November, which is just around the horizon.
Props. 26 and 27 would make various forms of gambling legal in California. Since a number of other states have already passed legislation to make sports betting lawful, voters in California are now faced with a choice regarding these proposition. According to Kaiser Health News, the most expensive undertaking in the country is now being considered to be the campaign to promote both of these measures.
It does not appear that the proposition will receive the necessary support in order for them to succeed, regardless of the cost. Because it is so simple to place bets online, gambling professionals are concerned that the popularity of online gambling will continue to rise, which will lead to an increase in the number of people who struggle with addiction.
“In California, what we know is that approximately, more than 1% of Californians right now today are struggling with a gambling addiction problem that has shown up in their lives in the last year,” Dr. Timothy Fong, a psychiatrist and co-director of the UCLA Gambling Studies Program, said. “In California, what we know is that approximately, more than 1% of Californians right now today are struggling with a gambling addiction problem that has shown up in their lives in the last year.” Therefore, it is not an extremely uncommon disorder.
According to information provided by the American Gaming Association, California is one of just seven states that does not yet have any legislation involving sports betting. The constitution of California only permits certain types of gambling, but with the surge in popularity of betting online and on sports, it should come as no surprise that the state stands to gain $3.1 billion in annual revenue from these activities. The people have the last say on whether or not the state should expand the types of gambling that are legalized by Proposition 26 and 27.
THE PROPOSITION THEMSELVES
There are a number of significant discrepancies between the two proposition. Some of the most prominent casino proprietors in the state have come out in support of Proposition 26. It would legalize internet sports betting only within the walls of current casinos that already offer gambling, in addition to horse racing venues, but nowhere else in the state. Other forms of gambling would remain illegal. According to the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO), it is difficult to determine an exact number because this concept has the potential to earn tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis.
National corporate gambling sites like as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are among those that financially support and back Proposition 27. It would make betting on sports online legal and would make it possible for individuals to wager on games, athletes, and even individual plays. In addition to that, it paves the way for betting on non-sporting events such as award presentations. As a result of the fact that this idea would allow gambling online, the options become limitless not only in terms of what you might bet on but also in terms of where you could put your bets. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), Proposition 27 has the potential to bring in tens of millions of dollars.
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CHANGES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING ONLINE
Although both measures would expand California’s existing betting rules, experts are concerned about the ease of access that Proposition 27 may allow if it passes. Specifically, the experts believe that Proposition 27 would introduce people to gambling who otherwise would not have done so.
According to Dr. Fong, there are “neither higher limitations nor restrictions” placed on the amount of money that can be spent. “Therefore, that is the reason why it would create access for a great number of individuals who either don’t have access already or are just inquisitive about it.”
More than thirty states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making some kind of sports betting legal, although the American Gambling Association estimates that 19 states will not pass such laws by the year 2021. (AGA). After gambling was made legal in states like Michigan, Connecticut, and New York, the number of people calling gambling helplines in those states increased significantly, as reported by Kaiser Health News. Dr. Fong reported that there has been a lack of consensus from a number of the other states.
Dr. Fong stated that the purpose of their inquiry was to determine whether or not an increase in the availability of gambling will alter the culture of California. “That alters the ways in which individuals choose to spend their money on entertainment, as well as the discussions that take place within each and every home.”
Gambling addiction, like that of many other addictions (such as alcohol or drug use), has the potential to become a problem for many people. According to the California Council for Problem Gamblers, problem gambling is a chronic condition that is characterized by an uncontrollable drive to gamble. This definition of problem gambling has gained widespread recognition in recent years. Gambling disorder is how the condition is described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5-TR).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) outlines the diagnostic criteria as “persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.” This is demonstrated by the individual exhibiting four or more of the criteria within a period of one year.
According to KHN, a gambling illness entails the same type of stimulation that other addiction disorders do, even when nothing is eaten in the case of these other disorders. According to the findings of the National Library of Medicine, the mesolimbic region of the brain is responsible for the release of dopamine, which plays a key role in the incentive and motivation processes of the brain. The amount of dopamine that is released is “more in pathological gamblers than in healthy controls while they are engaged in gambling episodes.”
The worry is that individuals will get entangled in too deep of a situation. According to Dr. Fong, the uniqueness of California lies in the fact that it makes funding resources available to people who are battling an addiction to gambling. On the other hand, when compared to support for other addictions such as cigarettes or alcohol, the funding is not even close to being of the quality that it ought to be. Patients did not have to pay anything to participate in the state-funded treatment program that was able to be put into place by the state.
Harold A., who asked that his full name not be released, is a thankful recovering compulsive gambler. He has not placed a bet in a little over 26 years, and he is proud of this accomplishment. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a fellowship that was established to offer assistance to persons who are battling an addiction to gambling. He is a member of GA. He stated that the group does not take a position on whether gaming is beneficial or harmful, nor do they take a position on the current measures that will be on the ballot in the month of November.
Harold A. has expressed his conviction that there will be a rise in the number of people in need of assistance should either of these suggestions be approved. GA adheres to the same 12-step program that is used by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and they have meetings in the Central Valley region of the United States. An individual who is currently 21 years old and has been sober since he was 19 years old has Harold A. as his sponsor. This person has been in recovery since he was an addict. According to him, the convenience of online gambling makes it more difficult for young people to evaluate for themselves whether or not they have a gambling addiction.
Harold A. stated, “You know, sports betting on your gadget is not going to go away, and this young man was a sports bettor.” “This young man was a sports bettor.” The phrase “this merely unleashes the floodgates” comes to mind.
GAMBLING AND YOUTH
There are a lot of young people living in today’s world who have never experienced a time when there was no easy access to gambling. Dr. Fong believes that young people would continue to be interested in online gambling despite the fact that illegal gambling will not go away.
Dr. Fong remarked that “we know that young people are going to be really drawn to this because this is that natural junction of sports and money and entertainment,” and that this is why “we know that young people are going to be really drawn to this.”
According to the findings of international research, up to 80–99% of adolescents participate in at least one kind of gambling, as pointed out by Jeffery Derevensky, a professor of psychology at McGill University, who was quoted in the Journal of Gambling Studies. Up to twelve percent of those adolescents fit the criteria for compulsive gambling behavior, making up a significant portion of the overall number. More and more children and adolescents are going to be exposed to gambling as the industry continues to expand.
One of the things that the state of California is doing with the money that it has set aside for preventing people from gambling is contributing to the dissemination of information through a youth initiative known as Friday Night Live. According to Friday Night Live administrator Lynne Goodwin, they get $500,000 from the Office of Problem Gambling each year. It just so happens that the location of their headquarters in Tulare County is right here in our own backyard. They conduct a program for young people called Betting On Our Future (BOOF), which aims to educate and enlighten them about gambling addiction.
Goodwin described it more accurately as a “awareness campaign.” “The issue of problem gambling is more difficult to tackle when dealing with younger generations due to the myriad of ways in which it permeates our communities. Increasing people’s understanding of the addictive nature of gambling is the primary objective.
According to Goodwin, young people are frequently unknowingly exposed to gambling, and despite the fact that it might be construed as a compulsive behavior, many people fail to recognize the dangers of gambling as an addiction. Through the use of their own data collection throughout the community, the program creates a public service announcement in addition to a campaign to raise awareness. Anyone can sign up to participate in the initiative; it is not a requirement but rather an invitation to assist those who are struggling financially.
FOCUS ON FUNDING
Both of the proposition on the ballot do not offer significantly more protection or assistance for people struggling with addiction. Neither of the measures on the ballot expressly mandates the state to enhance its programs, tracking, or treatment plans.
A new California Sports Wagering Fund will be established as a result of the passage of Proposition 26, which includes a provision that would direct 10% of the money generated from sports betting at horse racing venues (CSWF). The text indicates that a portion of those funds will be put aside for programs and grants relating to gambling addiction and mental health, which will total 10% of the total. However, this money comes exclusively from the state’s racetracks, which includes the four privately managed racetracks in the state.
To qualify for a sports betting license in California, a tribe or gaming company would have to pay the state 10% of the total monthly wagers placed on sports. This money would go into the California Online Sports Betting Trust Fund (COSBTF). It is believed that 85% of the remainder of that money is allocated to programs that assist people who are homeless and those who suffer from an addiction to gambling, while the other 15% is distributed to tribes that do not participate in sports betting.
The amount of money that may be made from these suggestions is so high that even if they are defeated in the current election, who is to say that they won’t try again in the following one? According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, online sports betting contributed over 95% of new tax income in New Jersey in the 2020 calendar year, reaching $49.4 million. This is an example from the state of New Jersey. According to estimates provided by California Casinos, Proposition 27 would bring in $2.8 billion in additional revenue for the state of California.
On the other hand, a study that was conducted by the University of California Berkeley and The Los Angeles Times found that the likelihood of either of the initiatives being approved is now quite low. According to the study of 6,939 prospective voters, just 31% of those polled expressed their support for initiative 26, while 42% expressed their opposition to it. On the other hand, for proposition 27, just 27% of voters showed support, while 53% of voters opposed it.
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