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Pennsylvania among the "most gambling-addicted states," report finds

Pennsylvania lawmaker to introduce legislation to tackle dark side of online gambling
Pennsylvania lawmaker to introduce legislation to tackle dark side of online gambling 03:12

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania is one of the "most gambling-addicted states," a new report found. 

On Tuesday, WalletHub released its "Most Gambling-Addicted States" report for 2024. Pennsylvania came in at No. 5, while West Virginia came in at No. 8. Nevada was the most "gambling-addicted" state, followed by South Dakota, Montana and Louisiana. Utah came in at No. 50.

To fill out its report, Wallethub said it used a data set that included lottery sales per capita, gaming machines per 1,000 residents, the presence of illegal gambling operations and the share of adults with gambling disorders. It also "compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, 'Gambling-Friendliness' and 'Gambling Problem & Treatment.'"

Pennsylvania ended up high in the overall ranking due to its "gambling-friendliness rank" of No. 5 and its "gambling problem & treatment rank" of No. 16. The Keystone State, which brought in a record $5.7 billion in revenue from gambling in 2023, was also tied for the most "gambling-related arrests per capita." 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported $5.69 billion in revenue for last year, a 9.3% increase from 2022. Also in 2023, Pennsylvania's monthly gaming revenue passed $500 million for the first time since legalized gambling began in 2006. 

The increase in gambling and more young people getting in too deep has gotten the attention of lawmakers in Pennsylvania. 

The Pennsylvania Problem Gambling Helpline has seen a major spike in young sports bettors asking for help, and gambling counselors said they've been inundated with requests for treatment from some as young as 18 in tens of thousands of dollars in debt. 

Now, a lawmaker has introduced legislation banning credit cards for online gambling.

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