Published on: December 8, 2023 at 02:11 h.
Last updated on: 7 December 2023 at 05:32 h.
Financial markets analyst Meredith Whitney is not a fan of the widespread adoption of legal sports betting. She made her position known during an appearance this week CNBC.
Whitney – dubbed the “Oracle of Wall Street” for predicting the financial crisis of 2007-2008 – believes young people are spending too much time gambling on their phones and other electronic devices. She believes this is partly a reason why marriage rates are declining and many men are not having sex as much as they used to.
Whitney said on the Business Network’s “Squawk on the Street” that she has been analyzing consumer spending data for more than 20 years, but recently found data points she had never seen before.
“Retail spending has been down all year, with spending on restaurants, travel, services and entertainment leading the way — they’ve been the strong suits — but the fastest growing entertainment spending is fantasy sports and online sports betting,” Whitney explained.
The negative effect is that they are all young. I compared this with Pew research that says 63% of young people are single. “This is an all-time high,” Whitney continued.
“Fifty percent of these young people have no interest in dating, not even casually. She added that 30 percent of young people said they haven’t had sex in more than a year and don’t seem to care.”
Sports betting data points
Drive Research, a New York-based market research firm, reported in August that the demographics of online sports betting skew younger, male and more affluent.
The Drive team found that nearly half (45%) of online sports bettors are between the ages of 23 and 34, and nearly seven in 10 are male. Just over half have a college degree or higher, and two out of three have an annual income of at least $50,000.
The study found that about 92 million American adults participate in the legal sports betting industry in the United States. That’s not necessarily a good thing, Whitney says.
The woman who gained notoriety for predicting the housing crisis believes that a decline in the number of marriages and a growing number of young people finding pleasure in sports gambling rather than with women or a partner could have negative economic consequences in the future. Low rates of family formation will limit the number of buyers as older generations look to downsize, Whitney said.
“Who will the buyers be?” Whitney asked.
Texas and California may exacerbate the problem
Sports betting began to expand outside of Nevada after the Supreme Court in May 2018 overturned a federal ban that limited single-game sports gambling in Nevada. The law — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 — implemented sports betting in Nevada while preventing new states from legalizing such gambling.
Since SCOTUS struck down PASPA, more than 30 states plus D.C. have passed laws to regulate sports betting. But the country’s two most populous states — California and Texas, which together are home to nearly 70 million people — have yet to move to allow sports betting. Florida, the third-most populous state in the country, began sports betting just this week.
Whitney believes her concerns regarding sports gambling as it relates to youth will get worse in the coming years, as more states bring more players into the legal fray.
Home builders are smart. “They’re building a lot of rental properties,” Whitney concluded.