The legalization of online sports betting has been widely met with enthusiasm and fanfare. More states are pushing forward legislation that will grow the availability and prevalence of sports betting in the United States. Most bettors enjoy legalized sports betting without issue, but there are those who will struggle with gambling addiction. This is why there is a need for responsible gambling initiatives.
According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, about 1% of the United States population is said to have a severe gambling problem. Of those, 6-9% of young people and young adults are affected. In all, it is estimated that roughly 10 million people struggle with some form of gambling issue throughout the country.
Recent data also suggest that that the rise of legalized online gambling has correlated with an uptick in reported gambling-related addiction. Numbers provided by the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network reported a record 270,000 calls, texts, and chats last year. This number is up 45% from the year prior.
Action Network’s Stance on Responsible Gambling
The Action Network, in harmony with Better Collective, sees sports betting and gambling as an entertainment-first activity. We view sports betting as a way to enhance the enjoyment of sports. It should never put users at risk of severe negative financial or emotional consequences.
Ultimately, we understand that the majority of players will not earn a profit through betting and gaming. With that in mind, we fully encourage all sports bettors to only allocate a reasonable amount of money that they would be willing to lose for the sake of entertainment. Use expendable income to create your gaming budget so as not to create a situation of potential financial insecurity.
It is our goal to ensure that we provide a fun experience while also ensuring that our users bet responsibly. Play the game below to learn about your gambling style, and to see if you are potentially at risk for addiction.
Gambling Controls to Limit Risk
In a broad effort to minimize the risk of players becoming addicted to gambling, almost every sportsbook offers various forms of gambling controls. These controls are tools that are available to users to self-impose restrictions on their spending habits. Commonly offered controls include:
- Deposit Limits – This restricts the amount of money that a player can deposit into their account for a set period of time.
- Spending Limits – Limits the amount of money a user is able to wager over the course of a set period of time.
- Session Timers – Only allows users to be active on the app or platform for the set allotment of time to reduce possibility of overplaying.
- Self Exclusion – Users can choose to self exclude, or lock themselves out of the platform, for a set period of time. This is done through the state in which a user lives so that the person will not be able to access any gambling platform for the duration of the self exclusion period.
Gambling Addiction Help and Resources
NCPG offers a variety of tools and resources for players suffering from gambling addiction including:
- Screening tools
- Help and resources by state
- Available programs and resources for gamblers
- National Problem Gambling Helpline
Gamblers Anonymous is a national organization that provides members a safe place to share their problems and work towards recovery. This is a free program available to anyone who wishes to stop gambling.
Action Network Responsible Gaming Content
Please review our related content to get a broader context of the gambling addiction.