March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month

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March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and it serves as a good reminder to acknowledge and act on one of the realities of the sports betting industry.

For many, sports betting and gambling can be a recreational activity that provides entertainment and an added way to enjoy sports, but for many others, the activity can turn into a problematic habit.

The expansion of legal gambling in the United States has opened the possibility of betting to many individuals who would not have participated in the activity prior, making it particularly important to be objective regarding problem gambling.

What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling can come in many forms, ranging on a spectrum of severity and impact. Problem gambling does not necessarily mean that you are suffering from a gambling addiction, and some of the signs of problem gambling can be hidden, even to the individual engaging in the behaviors.

At a base level, problem gambling is present when gambling is disrupting your daily life or activities. If you are experiencing consequences from gambling in your relationships, work or mental health, these can all be signs of problem gambling.

You can also go in and out of different stages regarding problem gambling. There are times where an individual may be in a better place, and times when they are struggling more.

Why Can Problem Gambling Be a "Hidden" Problem?

It is often said that gambling addiction can be an invisible addiction, and someone suffering with problem gambling can also be hidden. This means that it may be hard to tell on the surface when someone is suffering from this issue due to the lack of physical signs that you may see with drug or alcohol addiction. The hidden nature of problem gambling can actually exacerbate the issue at times.

Problem Gambling Signs

The following are all examples of problem gambling signs:

  • Feeling the need to be private or secretive regarding your gambling
  • Raising your stakes to feel the same type of emotion as previously
  • Gambling without a budget or understanding of your finances
  • Individuals around you have expressed concern

What Can You Do About Problem Gambling?

If you believe that you are dealing with problem gambling, know that you are not alone and there are steps you can take to protect yourself from future harm.

The first step comes with acknowledging that you may have a problem, and from there there are resources available to you including therapy, GA and a variety of options.

Click here for a full list of problem gambling support resources by state, where you can begin on your journey to building a better future.

For a growing breakdown of responsible gaming tips and education, please refer to our responsible gaming hub.

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