March 20, 2024 2 min read


Minnesota to Train Gambling Counselors as State Considers Betting Bill

Craig Johnson, addressed the matter, saying that gambling addiction is becoming an exponentially bigger problem every year

As March Madness continues, Americans are expected to wager as much as $2.7 billion, or more, on legal sportsbooks. The popularity of the event, however, also signifies an increased risk of gambling harm. Unfortunately, Minnesota is experiencing a shortage of gambling addiction counseling amid the rapid growth of sports betting across the United States.

Sports betting has now become easier than ever, thanks to the legalization of mobile betting in multiple states. Whereas previously bettors had to visit a casino or sportsbook, they now have a portal to gambling at their fingertips.

The accessibility of gambling has led to an increased risk of gambling harm but Minnesota seems to lack the human resources to deal with this problem. According to estimates, there are roughly 250,000 Minnesotans experiencing harm but only 19 people licensed to treat gambling addiction.

Luckily, there are efforts to change that. Fox 9 spoke with Metro State University experts who are now seeking to train the next generation of gambling therapists.

Minnesota Must Be Prepared

Metro State University’s Craig Johnson, addressed the matter, saying that gambling addiction is becoming an exponentially bigger problem every year. Because of that, Minnesota needs to have the preparedness to address the issue.

Johnson, who leads the state’s first class on instructing future counselors how to deal with gambling problems. The course focuses on the psychological and physiological aspects of gambling, as well as the impact it has on families, Fox 9 reported.

Johnson added that the prevalence of sports betting is exacerbating the issue at hand. He said that one in four of his current patients are struggling with sports wagering.

I have almost 30 patients that I see. A quarter of them are struggling with sports wagering.

Craig Johnson

For reference, Minnesota has no official sports betting industry, although parties are actively trying to get the vertical legalized. The ongoing effort includes a bill that was just amended to outline a 20% betting tax (previously 10%). Some of that revenue will be used on a tax cut for charitable gaming.

However, there are still representatives of both parties who oppose the legalization of sports betting, believing that it would do more harm than good.  


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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