Commonwealth Policy Center

It’s estimated that over “50 million American adults bet a total of $16 billion on yesterday’s Super Bowl, including legal bets with sports books, illegal ones with bookies, and casual bets among friends or relatives.” That’s a lot of people and a lot of money. But there’s a push for the states, including Kentucky, to legalize sports gambling. They argue sports gambling should be regulated to meet public demand and prevent corruption. But has anyone considered the downside of mainstreaming gambling? It was once an activity on the fringes of society, considered a sin, and undermined the value of thrift, hard work, and savings. A recent story in Politico likens gambling to a health crisis with addiction compared to opioid abuse. But like all health crises, we need to hit rock bottom before people respond.