Football’s big game, scheduled for Sunday, February 13th is among the top wagering events worldwide and is an exciting time for sports fans nationwide. However, for millions of Americans, it is anything but a game. In fact, for at-risk, problem, and recovering compulsive gamblers, it is a time of year that requires advance preparation and a different kind of game plan to avoid triggers and to assure self-protective measures are in place.
Gambling addiction presents serious short and long-term consequences and has grown significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to a rise in popularity among minors and young adult males, today there is a proliferation of sports betting advertisements during NFL games, which is a notable shift. It is also true that members of the gambling addiction recovery community and others who choose not to partake in the games also encounter exposures to sports wagering advertisements in their daily activities because one cannot escape the millions of dollars spent on promotions leading up to the big game.
In 2020 alone, companies spent 449 million U.S. dollars on in-game advertising during the big game, which reflected a 32% increase from just one year prior . To provide perspective, one 30-second commercial during the one championship game, played in February 2021, cost $5.6 million on average , which was double the amount spent in 2010 (i.e., $2.7 million) . Keep in mind these figures do not account for the millions spent on promotions prior to game day or the billions spent by consumers on game wagers both legally and illegally.
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) wants Sunshine State residents to know that when gambling is no longer a game, 888-ADMIT-IT is the game plan! The statewide 888-ADMIT-IT Confidential and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine is available 24/7 and is for anyone experiencing difficulties due to gambling, directly or is adversely affected by a loved one’s gambling. The crisis support line provides a breadth of free resources, including an Online Program for Problem Gamblers (OPPG), a Peer Connect Program, and extensive other referrals for in-person, phone, and online supports to accommodate individual needs, preferences, and schedules, including online, phone and in-person counseling.
The FCCG is urging those who feel vulnerable to put protective measures in place and offers the following activities as alternatives while the game is in play:
- Call the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine and start your path to recovery today!
- Attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting
- Make plans to take a hike or bike ride with a trusted friend
- Spend time with those who support your recovery
- Host a barbeque where everyone brings something to eat
- Watch a movie
- Video chat with a loved one
- Journal your thoughts
Remember, you didn’t get to this point overnight. It took months and even years to create the life you are leading now. It will take time to build a new life too. Give yourself the gift of healing one day at a time.
For help devising your game plan, call 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), text (321-978-0555), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), live chat (gamblinghelp.org), tap into the 888-ADMIT-IT App (https://landing.appypie.com/888-admit-it), or reach out on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Guttman, A. (2022). Super Bowl Advertising Revenue from 2003-2020. Statista. Retrieved Super Bowl advertising revenue 2020 | Statista.
- Heyen, B. (2021). Super Bowl commercials 2021: How much does an ad cost for Super Bowl 55? Sporting News. Retrieved https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/super-bowl-commercials-cost-2021/o496m61j4lkn19kxoygv9690a.
- Evergreen Marketing (2022). 10 Insane Super Bowl Statistics From a Marketing Perspective. Retrieved 10 Insane Super Bowl Statistics From a Marketing Perspective (mktoolboxsuite.com).