November 6, 2023 3 min read


Experts Say the NHL Should Better Protect Younger Athletes

Following a recent gambling-related suspension, experts advised the NHL to do more to protect vulnerable players

Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto was recently suspended from the National Hockey League because of his involvement in sports betting. Prohibited from participating in the next 41 games, the player has now sparked concerns about the prevalence of wagering.

The Canadian Press spoke with experts on the matter. According to gambling researchers, young athletes are very vulnerable to the temptation of betting.

The American Hockey League is currently discussing whether changes to its gambling-related policies are needed. The Canadian Hockey League, in the meantime, created a new sports betting policy prior to the start of the current season.

The CHL’s new athlete program includes gambling education that helps athletes realize the dangers of gambling and provides them with knowledge of the risks they take when placing a wager.

The NHL Should Protect Younger Athletes

Professor David Hodgins from the University of Calgary, who is a member of the Alberta Gambling Research Institute, believes that operators’ aggressive advertisement makes it impossible not to have such cases. Hodgins said that it is “inevitable” that some athletes would be enticed to involve themselves with gambling.

The professor advised the NHL to not ignore the issue and to recognize the dangers of gambling addiction.

Andrew Kim, another University of Calgary professor, said that leagues need to realize the dangers that gambling poses to young people. He pointed out that younger adults are usually at much greater risk of developing addictive tendencies. Unfortunately, not all problem players exhibit clear signs of their addiction, Kim added.

Kim added that young NHL players might be unhappy to be prohibited from gambling while fans the same age as day are allowed to be exposed to gambling and bet on games. The professor said that the situation is “intertwined” and very complex.

Kim concluded that many young athletes turn to betting because of false security in their knowledge of the sport. He said that many players believe that they are experts in predicting outcomes and analyzing games, just because they are playing professionally. Kim said that this might be true for some but pointed out that gambling, by design, makes it more likely to lose than win.

In the meantime, the NFL recently introduced changes to its gambling policies coming shortly after a gambling scandal involving young Iowan athletes. Some players in that case were even accused of “tampering with records,” although lawyers refuted these claims as ludicrous. One legal representative noted that the state shouldn’t be so surprised when young athletes demonstrate interest in betting.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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