Friday, January 27, 2023

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A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

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Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

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Football is Back, Prompting Warnings to Avoid Gambling Traps

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Thursday, September 15, 2022   

The Vikings and Gophers recently kicked off their new seasons, and for local football fans wanting to navigate online sports betting, there are opportunities in some nearby states.

But caution is urged as these ventures grow. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for all states to legalize sports gambling, many have done it. Minnesota is still debating the idea, but neighbors such as Iowa and South Dakota allow it.

Susan Sheridan Tucker, executive director of the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, said if you plan to cross the border to place a wager, be mindful of how persuasive apps can be through their advertising.

"Many of the ads are promoting free play, free dollars to encourage people to open accounts," Tucker explained. "We are very concerned about that."

Under Iowa's rules, the person has to physically be within state lines when placing the bet. But you can register for an account through an app and deposit funds before crossing the border. And Tucker warned some Minnesotans might not be aware of state-by-state laws and could wind up placing on online bet from home through an unregulated operator. She added the apps can be slow to pay winnings.

Tucker's group takes a neutral stance on gambling laws but has worked with Minnesota legislators who are crafting such proposals. She emphasized they still want consumer protections, knowing the proliferation of online sports betting will harm some individuals.

"We are seeing these algorithms that are learning people's behavior," Tucker observed. "As people show their patterns online, those algorithms are changing almost on a real-time basis, and encouraging people to continue to play."

Tucker stressed the public needs to realize compulsive gambling is a behavioral disorder, not a moral failure, and there should be federal resources for research and treatment. She added broader classification dealing with addictions would help in this area. It's estimated at least 3% of American adults have a gambling problem.


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