You are probably already aware that sports betting is coming to Ohio and other states across the U.S. But what could this development mean for those who struggle with a problem with gambling?
For one, there’s far more advertising for it than ever before. Keith Whyte, the Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, recently talked with NPR about the potential outcomes and impacts of sports betting advertising increasing at such an unprecedented pace.
“We expect that there is a higher rate now of people who were in recovery that have been lured back or tempted back into betting again due to the massive volume of ads,” Whyte told the news outlet.
According to a poll conducted by Morning Consult, one in five Americans said they bet on sports at least once a month – an 80% increase over the number who reported betting with the same frequency last January. And the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network fielded 270,000 calls last year, which is the most the helpline saw in six years. Whyte also estimated that 7 million people in the U.S. likely struggle with a problem with gambling.
Despite those rising numbers, there are still plenty of individuals who are looking forward to the expansion of sports betting and plan to participate in it responsibly. But how do you ensure it stays that way?
Some tips to keep gambling responsible include:
- Setting limits on how much you bet.
- Paying your bills before gambling.
- Knowing the risks before you bet.
- Keeping gambling a social activity.
- Having other hobbies outside of gambling.
For more resources and information on problem gambling, you can visit BeforeYouBet.org. There, you can take the quiz to see if you’re at-risk for developing a problem with gambling and find free resources for responsible gambling.
And remember that free and confidential support is always available by calling the 24/7 Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741. If you are starting to have questions about your gambling habits or those of someone you care about, make the call today.