February 14, 2023 2 min read


Michigan Senator Proposes Legislation to Fight Teenage Gambling Addiction

Sen. Joseph Bellino introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to tackle the growing problem of gambling addiction among Michigan's teenagers

Bellino, a Republican from Monroe, highlighted that the legalization of mobile betting apps and online sports betting in more than 30 states has made the issue worse.

The Spread of Gambling Addiction Can Be Fought with the Help of Education

As per Sen. Joseph Bellino’s statement, it has been reported that teenagers do not see gambling as risky, and research has shown that the percentage of high school students struggling with gambling addiction is twice as much as adults. 

To address this problem, Sen. Bellino has proposed Senate Bill 54, which would require the Michigan Department of Education to develop a grade- and age-appropriate educational program on gambling addiction. This program will be made available to school districts and public school academies by July 1, 2024.

Sen. Bellino stressed the importance of educating students about the dangers of gambling addiction, similar to the way teachers currently inform them about the risks of drug and alcohol use. He believes that by making teenagers aware of the severe consequences of gambling addiction, the number of young people suffering from this issue can be reduced.

Senate Bill 54 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee for further consideration. If it is passed, Michigan could become a leading state in the fight against teenage gambling addiction, potentially serving as an example for other states struggling with the same problem.

4% to 6% of High School Students Suffer from Gambling Addiction

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), even though the legal age for gambling ranges from 18 to 21, 60% to 80% of high school students in the US have gambled for money in the past year. Furthermore, the group also highlighted that 4% to 6% of high school students have developed a gambling addiction.

The numbers are even more worrying when taking into consideration that approximately 5% of all young people between the ages of 11 and 17 meet at least one of the criteria for gambling addiction, such as feeling a “rush” when gambling, writing IOUs to continue playing, and continuing to gamble even when losing large sums of money.

Furthermore, according to a recent report from the NCPG, Michigan’s efforts to safeguard its most vulnerable gamblers have been insufficient. The report, which was made public on January 31, discovered that Michigan was one of only four states in the United States that provide iGaming, described as internet gambling besides sports betting, which does not fulfil the NCPG’s minimum standards for responsible gambling.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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