If you can’t get through a football game or Twitter scroll without seeing an in-your-face promo for online sports betting lately, well, you’re not alone.
Offers such as “Bet $20, win $125 if Aaron Rodgers throws for one passing yard” or “Place your first bet up to $500 risk free” have become ubiquitous, as sportsbooks continue to dangle the prospect of essentially free money in hopes of acquiring a customer base that will bet and—more often than not—lose money over the long haul.
These offers have exploded as a pandemic-weary public has proved the perfect target for betting startups, many of which are rushing to exploit ever-loosening state rules on betting. “Throughout the pandemic, there’s definitely been a sharp increase in mental-health issues and addiction,” says Eric Fields, a psychologist who specializes in addiction therapy. “This time has been extremely vulnerable for people who’ve already had an addiction or mental … Read the rest