Maryland Lawmaker Urges Education on Gambling Risks for High School Students

Maryland Lawmaker Urges Education on Gambling Risks for High School Students

A lawmaker in Maryland is calling for educational lessons on risks related to gambling as well as the prevention of gambling addiction in the state’s high schools.

A change to health curriculums

Sen. Bryan Simonaire wants to make changes in the high school health curriculum. As the state is trying to legalize sports betting in the state, the Senator believes it is time to start educating about the harms that gambling addiction may cause. His recently introduced bill- Senate Bill 322 is gaining momentum in the legislature. It has already passed the state and will now be heard before the House Ways and Means Committee on March 18.

Maryland Lawmaker Urges Education on Gambling Risks for High School Students

Sen. Simonaire states that the state has been expanding its gambling offerings in the last 10 years because of which it is at an increased risk for gambling addiction as well as issues related to abuse. In 2008, a statewide referendum allowed the launch of five slots-only casinos in the state. In 2012, a question on the ballot launched another casino and allowed table games at existing venues. The new casino, MGM National Harbor, is now the largest gambling venue in the state. His bill is meant to tackle problems arising because of this growing number of gambling venues.

The state needs more preventing measures

Casinos in the state are already contributing a part of their gaming revenue to Problem Gambling Fund overseen by the Maryland Department of Health. They also give money to the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. Simonaire acknowledged that casinos are giving money to good causes, but this won’t be enough. He argued that more preventive measures should be undertaken to ensure that the youth doesn’t face problems.

The Senator’s plans to add lessons related to gambling risks in the school curriculum of 2021-22. He said that the educational community of the state had played a major role in allowing gambling expansion, and now they must “have a direct role in supporting the students who are adversely affected by this.”

Interestingly, Maryland has a history of being rigid towards changes in the curriculum. The local school boards and teachers’ unions have often spoken against changes. The Maryland State Education Association even furnished a written testimony against Sen. Simonaire’s bill before its first hearing. Because of these actions, the bill has been toned down to allow local education agencies to choose their lesson plans.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.