Trust the government to make something like this illegal. Why bother??? It took a particular type to run the numbers, just as it takes a particular type to sell securities as well. All that is also the glue that activates a community of sorts and help to manage hopes and dreams.
The better course is to simply allow it to run along.
The drug trade produces real harm that has to be managed. there we have learned that criminalization actually expanded the industry. Here it is hard to see any harm when worse odds are legal. Even licensing is barely needed as no one is going to pay off on failure and this is an acceptable risk. In our world of legal gambling, let us all have our bookies and number runners and be done with it.
It is low level and addicts will simply out themselves as usual and be banned.
How My Mom Paid For My College Tuition By Running The Numbers