The Super Bowl is the most watched event of the year—and the most gambled…Tor Constantino breaks down the risks and our nation’s gambling problem.
The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots take to the field this Sunday in the biggest game of the NFL season.
But the Lombardi Trophy is not the only thing on the line.
The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that as much as $90 million dollars will be bet legally Super Bowl XLIX, but they conservatively project that more than $4 billion dollars is expected to be bet illegally. Other estimates peg the illegal amount of Super Bowl gambling to be in the range of $6 – $10 billion.
While the NCPG states its neutral on legal gambling activities, it is opposed to illegal gambling in all of its forms because those betting channels are under regulated, associated with higher rates of gambling addiction and tend to result in worse outcomes for problem gamblers.
“Many gambling addicts report substantial financial losses. The problem gambler may feel the only way to quickly get back that money is to gamble more and more, desperately chasing their losses. This can lead to a downward spiral of increasingly negative consequences. The longer you gamble the more likely you are to lose,” says Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
According to the NCPG, while most individuals who gamble are able to do so without harm, approximately 6 million American adults are addicted to gambling. Signs of a gambling problem include:
- Using income or savings to gamble while letting bills go unpaid
- Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to stop gambling
- Chasing losses
- Losing sleep over thoughts of gambling
- Arguing with friends or family about gambling behavior
- Feeling depressed or suicidal because of gambling losses
Problem gambling is not just an individual concern; it often leads to negative consequences for the entire
community. Nationwide, gambling addiction costs society at least $6 billion per year.
If betting on a game means too much to you or someone you know, you can call the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) any hour of the day or night—the free calls are confidential.
Photo: relux/Flickr – MGM Hotel Sports Betting Lounge
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