Problem Gambling: Key Factors and Important Information For Sports Bettors to Consider
Seb Daly/Getty. Pictured: Betting tickets.
Betting on sports has been done for a long time by many people, but when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey and famously killed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, the legal sports betting boom began.
The ruling was a big one for sports bettors who wanted easier access to something that a significant portion of sports fans were doing anyway, but a whole new population of sports bettors would be brought in to play.
Searches for "legal sports betting" have grown by over a factor of nine since 2018, and the push from sportsbooks to control the betting market has resulted in endless advertisements and marketing at each and every sporting event you watch.
Because of this boom, however, there have been negative consequences as well.
Keith Whyte, the executive director at the National Council on Problem Gambling, released an analysis in 2021 that showed, "the risk for gambling problems has increased by roughly 30% since 2018." That's a big number, and it means a lot of bettors are at risk.
It's important to identify the signs and factors behind problem gambling, and to know what resources are available to you.
Problem Gambling: Key Factors and Important Information
The Nevada Council on Problem Gambling outlined the following symptoms as key signs that you may be dealing with a problem gambling issue.
- Gambling to escape worry or trouble
- Gambling to get money to solve financial difficulties
- Unable to stop playing regardless of winning or losing
- Gambling until the last dollar is gone
- Losing time from work due to gambling
- Borrowing money to pay gambling debts
- Neglecting family because of gambling
- Lying about time and money spent gambling
If you have experienced any of these symptoms or if you are concerned that you may be on the verge of any of them, please don't be afraid to reach out to those around you for help. Each state with legal sports betting also has a dedicated help line for bettors.
The National Problem Gambling Helpline is always available at 1-800-522-4700 for those that need assistance of any kind.
The National Council on Problem Gambling also put together this helpful graphic to assist bettors access the resources available to them in each state.
It's always important to remember that betting on sports should be treated as a recreational activity with the primary purpose being entertainment. Always bet what you can afford to lose and do not expect to be profitable in the long term.
For more content and information on responsible gaming, you can check out our full dedicated page here.