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Josh Auzenne | WAFB

The Arrest of Kayshon Boutte & Growing Concern in Underage Sports Betting

On Jan. 25, Patriots wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was arrested on one felony count of Computer Fraud and one misdemeanor count of Gaming Prohibited for Persons Under 21.

Boutte created a fraudulent gambling account while under 21, authorities allege. The wide receiver’s account made around 9,000 illegal bets. He also made six bets on the LSU football team as an active player.

“The New England Patriots are aware that Kayshon Boutte is cooperating with Louisiana police regarding their investigation into an underage gambling charge while he was a student at Louisiana State University,” a Patriots representative announced.

It remains unclear if Boutte will face discipline via his team or the NFL.

Boutte’s arrest reflects a concern among fans regarding underage gambling. Data provided by the Seton Hall Sports Poll suggests fans are worried about the advertisement of gambling to minors. According to the polling, 57-percent of the public believes advertisements improperly expose minors to gambling.

Greater concern is shown among sports fans. Sixty-one percent of sports fans believe advertisements dangerously exposed underage individuals to betting, the Seton Hall Sports Poll reports.

Not only fans are concerned about underage sports gambling.

“The age group that is most at risk of developing a gambling problem are males 18 to 35. The younger ones are most vulnerable as they’re not at the age yet where they can thoroughly process the consequences of their actions,” Executive Director of the Ohio Casino Control Commission Matt Schuler states.

Schuler’s comments reflect a deeper concern among officials regarding underage gambling.

Congressman Paul Tonoko (D-NY) has introduced legislation that would ban sports books from advertising on television, radio, and the internet. His bill is modeled off the act that banned advertisements for cigarettes in 1970.

Tonoko cites the target audience as a reason for introducing the Betting on Our Future Act.

“But high schoolers, young children, college students and, believe it or not, people that were on the list as people in recovery were a targeted list of populations that sportsbooks went after,” Tonoko said.

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Polling conducted by the Seton Hall Sports Poll shows fans agree with Tonoko’s bill.

Fifty-three percent of avid fans agree with a bill banning sportsbook advertisement from the airways, data from the Seton Hall Sports Poll reports. While 45-percent of the public supports the bill.

Even though fans share the same sentiment as Tonko, no other members of congress have publicly supported the bill.

It remains unclear if other actions will be taken to address the growing concern of underaged gambling.

Justin Lotito writes for the Setonian’s sports section. He can be reached at


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