CHICAGO, May 16 (Xinhua) -- Legalizing sports gambling in U.S. will likely have multiple destabilizing socio-economic impacts, said a University of Illinois (UI) expert.
John W. Kindt, a UI professor emeritus of business administration, made the comments in a news release posted on UI website Tuesday in response to U.S. Supreme Court's decision on freeing states to legalize gambling on individual sporting events.
"If you combine legal sports gambling and smartphones, you are looking at an economic disaster on multiple fronts," said Kindt, who has testified before Congress and state legislatures about the societal, business and economic impacts of decriminalizing gambling.
Kindt said prior research indicates that there are "3 to 7 dollars in taxpayer costs for every one dollar in tax revenues from casinos", and that sports gambling and internet gambling carry even higher socio-economic costs.
For college students and teens, sports gambling in real-time on smartphones and computers is as addictive as "crack cocaine," Kindt said.
"Betting on sports in a casino is addictive enough, but when you put it in the hands of someone who is a sports fan and has a smartphone, now you're really opening Pandora's box," he said. "If you combine gambling, sports and smartphones, you're leading sports fans down a very dangerous path to financial ruin."
Lobbyists have been encouraging state legislatures to legalize sports gambling and "daily fantasy sports", a semi-legal form of season-long fantasy sports leagues that's been promoted as a source of new revenue for state coffers without the pain of inflicting higher taxes on citizens.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down the federal law that had barred single-game gambling in most of the country, saying it unconstitutionally forced states to maintain their prohibitions.
From a sports integrity perspective, it's especially disheartening, Kindt said.