After the surge in sports betting, a backlash is now emerging.

Legislators and regulators in the United States who were responsible for expanding legal gambling are now increasing scrutiny of the industry with particular focus on advertising that may reach underage gamblers. At least three states have banned gambling establishments that threaten or harass losing players. The trend is visible in other countries, where new regulations are being implemented on online gambling. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia allow legal sports betting, meaning that more than half of Americans live in areas where sports betting is permitted, five years after the Supreme Court overturned laws that prohibited it. New York and Ohio are among the states that have begun to tighten rules on advertising and marketing to prevent deceptive practices and promotions aimed at underage gamblers.

Maryland and Connecticut are moving towards banning gambling companies from entering into gambling contracts. The enforcement of regulations has been extended to cover those who threaten or intimidate players. The industry has backed the proposals for fear that it would cause further harm to athletes. Responsive measures include revisions to the American Gaming Association’s Responsible Marketing Code, the Responsible Sports Betting Advertising Coalition, and campaigns by professional sports leagues and television networks aimed at preventing underage gambling. If the US industry does not move quickly to address such issues, it will face regulatory intervention similar to that seen abroad. Australia is considering banning the use of credit cards for online gambling, while Belgium and the Netherlands are implementing a ban on gambling advertising across television, radio, newspapers, and public spaces.

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