Skip to content

Massachusetts Officials Announce Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition

Published: May 20, 2024

As sports betting gains popularity in the United States, it’s becoming easier for individuals to place wagers in arenas and on their personal devices. Experts in the field find this access concerning, considering that more and more children and young adults are finding ways to wager on sports before being of legal age. This can be harmful to youth as studies have shown that gambling at an early age can increase a person’s likelihood of developing a gambling disorder later in life. 

Experts are responding by creating new programs and resources to help parents and youth recognize the risks of betting. Attorney General Andrea Campbell of Massachusetts, who legalized sports betting in late 2022, recently unveiled the Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition, which has the backing and support of several major sports teams in the region. 

According to an article published by CBS News, the program is designed to protect people ages 12 to 20 from the health risks of gambling. “As all of you know, we’ve entered what we are all describing as a new era of sports gambling in Massachusetts,” Campbell explained during a news conference at TD Garden in Boston. 

These issues are affecting both professional and college-level sports. In a 2023 survey, the NCAA found that “sports wagering is pervasive among 18-to-22-year-olds, with 58% having engaged in at least one sports betting activity.” 

A recent national poll found that one in six parents doesn’t know if their child is betting online. As sports betting continues to grow steadily all over the country, it’s more important than ever to learn the warning signs and talk to your children about the consequences of gambling.

When children gamble, they…

  • may lose money they need for school materials or meals.
  • may neglect their studies or part-time jobs.
  • are at an increased risk for substance use and abuse. 
  • are at an increased risk for delinquency and crime.
  • may experience emotional stress and depression. 

Visit to learn more and find the resources you need to get the conversation started and help prevent youth gambling.

Back to News