The Rise of Online Gambling Among Missouri’s Youth

Online Gambling: Missouri has been gambling legally since the early 90s and has over a dozen riverboat and land-based casinos operating in the state, including St. Louis, Kansas City, and some other areas. But the online betting by using websites and mobile apps is still banned all over the state in accordance with its gambling laws.

Online Gambling

The state, in addition, permits a small amount of online gambling through its official lottery website and mobile app. On the other hand, licensed commercial online casinos, poker sites, sports betting apps and other illegal gambling websites physically located within Missouri borders are not allowed to users.

Hence, we see that even though there are restrictions, an offshore online gambling market has still developed to provide services to users in Missouri and other U.S. states which are on the gray area of the internet gambling. It is a difficult task to dispute that numerous top online casinos and sportsbooks are stationed in offshore jurisdictions such as Antigua, Costa Rica, and Panama among others.

Easier Access Through VPNs and Mobile Tech:

A major cause of the continued prevalence of internet gambling among young Missourians is the massive availability of these technologies that may circumvent the state gambling laws. The existence of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) services is very widespread, and their usage is a quite simple task. These services relocate a user’s location and IP address.

Though Missouri regulators and law enforcement do some work relating to the prohibition of these gambling apps and sites, they face the impediment that new ones pop up all the time, which makes the complete blocking very difficult.

Concerns About Youth Problem Gambling:

There are some people who think that the online gambling activities of Missouri’s youth are just for fun, meanwhile, preventing problem gambling groups are becoming more and more concerned due to the addictive nature of this activity. It has been found by academic studies that young adults who gamble online on unregulated sites are more likely to exhibit risk factors associated to gambling disorders and addictions in developmental processes.

The risk of online access to addictive gambling apps and sites being a basis for youngsters to catch themselves in severe habits at a young age is one that state legislators and regulatory bodies have to constantly stay vigilant about.

Will Legal Online Gambling Come to Missouri?

The current college-age and youth generations of Missouri will become older, and the desire for the regulation and legalization of online gambling in Missouri will probably become louder. Similar to how the millennial generation pressured the state legislature to remove the prohibition on sports gambling and the legalization was finally approved in 2022, future young adult voting blocs could eventually advocate for the legalization of mobile sports betting, online casino gaming, and internet poker.

Nevertheless, the main political conflicts about the issue such as consumer protections, age verification, responsible gaming programs, and taxation would be also a topic to debate. Furthermore, the concerns of the current commercial casinos who may consider the rise of online gambling a rival need to be considered.

Although it is not easy to forecast the timeline, the majority of gambling industry experts do think that online gambling platforms will be legalized and regulated in Missouri in the period of 5 to 10 years once the current trends of tech use and demand continue. The speed of youth advocacy may be the factor that can shorten the process.

Whether illegal or not, the reality is that young people and college students in Missouri are taking the chance by just visiting offshore sites and applications where you can simply click here to play. Even though the youth problem gambling concerns are valid, the normalization of these technologies that most of the emerging generation is used to may simply be too strong of a force to be fully fought back with regulations.

With the past generation turning over and new voting blocks emerging, the fast-growing online gambling services that are easily accessible might be the last straw that will force state lawmakers to address this matter.

Also Check: Online Casino and Gambling Habits of Students


Young people in Missouri are faced with a perplexing conundrum: the easily accessible technology that allows them to easily enter the world of illegal internet gambling is in direct opposition to the state’s existing ban. Although legitimate concerns about young people being addicted to gambling are still there, the growing market for internet gambling platforms may outweigh traditional regulatory approaches.

The rise of a generation that is technologically savvy and the potential influence of future voters suggest that Missouri may legalise online gambling in the next five to ten years. This hypothetical situation hinges on handling concerns including age verification, responsible gambling, protecting consumers, and accommodating long-standing casino reservations in an efficient manner.

However, the ease of access made possible by technology highlights the appeal that internet gambling presents to Missouri’s young, making it a powerful force that policymakers cannot ignore permanently.

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