Sports Wagering and Gambling in the Online World: A Recipe for Digital Disaster?
This presentation discusses the recent expansion of legalized sports betting across the US, its confluence with online gambling, and concerns about the potential rise in problematic gambling behaviors that could result. While sports wagering has been legal in Nevada for decades, the national expansion of legalized sports wagering as well as the arrival of major sports franchises in the state has brought about changes in the local industry that include increased opportunities for digital wagering along with a commensurate increase in local interest for engaging in this type of gambling. Research suggests that sports wagering may be more likely to result in problematic play across multiple demographics, particularly among young adult males. The online environment, coupled with the increasing availability and popularity of proposition wagering (in-game betting), has the potential to exacerbate the issue. The legal digital environment also has the potential, however, to more quickly connect individuals who may be transitioning into or suffering from a gambling disorder to help.
- Participants will learn why and how the US is undergoing a rapid expansion of legal sports wagering, and how it has affected this type of gambling in Nevada.
- Participants will learn the ways in which sports wagering may be more problematic than other types of gambling across multiple demographics, and why the digital environment may exacerbate problematic play for some.
- Participants will learn how the digital environment has the potential to more quickly connect those who may be suffering from a gambling disorder to resources.
William “Ted” Hartwell, MA has a Master’s degree in Anthropology and has been a member of the research faculty of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the Nevada System of Higher Education since 1991. He is a longtime member of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Mr. Hartwell is the Principal Investigator of a DRI research study examining the impact of problem gambling in Native American tribal communities in Nevada. He is in long-term recovery from gambling disorder himself, and he promotes awareness, prevention, and treatment of problem gambling as a consultant to the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). He has spoken publicly and personally on this issue on many occasions and is dedicated to humanizing and illuminating the illness of disordered gambling. He provides annual lectures on this topic for the UNLV Boyd School of Law Gaming Regulation and the University of Utah Gaming Regulation classes, as well as for many other departments within the higher education system.
Mr. Hartwell was a regular participant for many years in the UNLV International Gaming Institute’s Responsible Gaming Ambassador training program for Las Vegas Sands Corporation and has consulted to MGM Resorts International and the US-Japan Business Council in their efforts to develop business related to the first Integrated Casino Resorts in Japan.
Mr. Hartwell introduced the NCPG’s youth gambling awareness and family gambling awareness programs into the Clark County School District in Nevada and he has recently developed educational programs for local schools on the topics of video gaming awareness and student-athlete gambling awareness.
Mr. Hartwell has served at the pleasure of three Governors on the Nevada State Advisory Committee on Problem Gambling since November 2012. He was the 2014 Shannon L. Bybee Award recipient for his continuing work on advocacy, outreach, and research on the issue of problem gambling. In 2021, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Mr. Hartwell lives in Las Vegas, where he is also a professional cellist with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a devoted husband to a recent Russian immigrant, a past soccer and volleyball coach, and the proud father of a precocious 17-year-old girl and three cats.
Continuing Education Units:
This learning event is approved for 1.5 CEUs by the following professional organizations:
- National Association of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC)
- National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)*
- International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)
*CASAT has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6492. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. CASAT is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
- Nevada Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug, & Gambling Counselors
- Nevada State Board of Nursing
- Board of Examiners for Marriage and Family Therapists and Clinical Professional Counselors
- State of Nevada Board of Examiners for Social Workers
- Nevada Certification Board (PRSS & CHW)
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