Getting a handle on sports betting

For decades, New Jersey has been a national leader in the legalization of gambling, from casinos to online sports betting. Now in a state where the percentage of compulsive gamblers is three times the national average and half of middle schoolers gamble, legislators are weighing a bill that would teach high school students the difference between luck and predictable reality.

“We should do everything we can to help these kids understand the risks [of online gambling] and how to make rational decisions,” Assemblyman Dan Benson, co-sponsor of the gambling education bill, told the SportsHandle website. One of the bill’s more rational mandates: provide students with lessons on “probability versus predictability.”

Efforts to help young people change their views about luck would be a timely antidote to the latest survey by the NCAA. The college sports giant found 58% of 18- to 22-year-olds engage in at least one sports betting activity and, among the riskiest players, 70% believe “consistent sports gambling will increase their monetary earnings.”

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