March 29, 2024 3 min read


Massachusetts Creates Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition

The latest initiative is supported by the NCAA along with leading sports teams and seeks to provide education for young people, raising awareness of the harm related to betting

Massachusetts was among the states that legalized sports betting in 2022. Despite the legalization, it has taken several months until the launch of retail wagering which was completed at the end of January 2023, followed by the online betting market launch in March of the same year. Just like in other states where betting is legal, the activity raises concerns about the impact on collegiate and professional sports. Besides worrying about the integrity of competitions, sports leagues sounded the alarm about the impact betting has on athletes and young people, who may be affected by problem gambling and harm.

Addressing such concerns, Massachusetts announced a new initiative that seeks to protect young adults as well as athletes from the potential negative impact of sports betting. The state hopes this can be achieved through the Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition, a new initiative that will revolve around the provision of education, as well as raising awareness of the dangers of sports betting. The new measure will target young people between the ages of 12 and 20, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell revealed Thursday.

The effort is supported by the NCAA, as well as the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. The Boston Celtics, the New England Revolution and the New England Patriots are also among the members of the Youth Sports Betting Safety Coalition.

Betting Brings Pressure on College Athletes

Campbell, who was recently cited by the Associated Press, spoke about the negative impact of sports betting, saying that Massachusetts is responsible for ensuring experiences that are safe for the consumers. “Think about it. We’re putting an addictive product — gambling — on a very addictive device, your smartphone,” Campbell revealed. Speaking about the exponential expansion of wagering, she said that the activity has become legal across the nation in several years.

Charlie Baker, the current NCAA president and former Massachusetts Governor, who in fact signed the bill legalizing betting in the state, highlighted the pressure the activity brings on student athletes. He said that many athletes feel a great burden considering that bettors rely on their performance.

Baker revealed that some of the athletes he spoke with shared their concerns about talks with classmates who were asking them about upcoming games they are involved in. Additionally, he supported the effort of the NCAA for the implementation of restrictions of the popular prop bets which allow bettors to wager on statistics related to individual players instead of the final game score.

Back in December, the NCAA confirmed its plans to leverage AI to tackle gambling-related student abuse. “This pilot is just the start of much broader online protection measures the NCAA will put in place to guide our longer-term strategy in this crucial space,” Baker said at the time.

The aforementioned efforts come as no surprise, considering the growing popularity of wagering on sports across the country. But while many enjoy betting responsibly, some disgruntled bettors go on social media to threaten athletes and even send abusive messages after losing wagers.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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