March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) across the U.S., which occurs at a perfect time, considering the onset of March Madness on Sunday, March 13th, the NCAA’s collegiate championship tournament. Since sports betting became legal in 2018, today 30 states have sanctioned it, and March Madness has become one of the most popular wagering events. Increasing its popularity is the sheer number of bets one can place while the games are in play, which is a dramatic shift from years past. In-play wagers, otherwise known as live bets, provide gamblers with the ability to place or change multiple wagers throughout the course of a game, as events are occurring, which has shifted some forms, such as mobile sports betting, to continuous forms of gambling. Research has confirmed that gambling games that provide rapid cycles of play and the reinvestment of winnings are highly addictive.
Though it is evident that sports betting is benefiting from a pandemic fueled expansion, it is imperative for Floridians to know that help and hope for a gambling problem are possible by contacting 888-ADMIT-IT. Exacerbating matters, especially among those working hard in their recovery, is the amount of advertising dollars being spent and exposures made on the promotion of sports wagering, as recently witnessed with NFL games leading up to the championship event. Yet, these numbers pale in comparison to the billions spent on game wagers, legally and illegally. So, while the fate of legal sports betting in the Sunshine State is in limbo, the reality is that residents have ample options to place their wagers with bookies and illegal gambling sites, which is already adversely impacting upon a segment of the population, particularly among young males.
To furnish perspective, per FY 2020-2021 data from the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling’s 24-hour 888-ADMIT-IT Confidential and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine, among those engaged primarily in online gambling:
🏀 The large majority were male (89%), White (68%), and 30 years of age or younger (52%).
🏀 The most common type of online gambling reported was online sports betting (54%), followed by online casino games (40%).
According to the American Gaming Association, over 50 million Americans are projected to gamble over $10 billion combined on March Madness 2022, with an increasingly larger share at legal U.S. sportsbooks each year.
Gambling addiction is real. Remember, When Gambling is No Longer a Game…888-ADMIT-IT is the Game Plan! The HelpLine provides free resources, including an Online Program for Problem Gamblers, a Peer Connect Program, self-exclusion programs to curtail access to gambling websites and to cash, and much more!
For help healing one day at a time call 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), text (321-978-0555), email (email@example.com), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), use the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or reach out on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- PlayUSA (2022). How to Bet on March Madness 2022. Retrieved March Madness Odds – How to Bet March Madness Online in US (playusa.com)