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Officials Caution Over Sports Betting Traps

The Vikings and Gophers recently kicked off their new seasons. 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 US 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, of the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, says if you plan to cross the border to place a wager, be mindful of how persuasive these apps can be through their advertising.

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 warns 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 says those 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 says they still want consumer protections, knowing that the proliferation of online sports betting will harm some individuals.

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

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