The Super Bowl is just days away, and recreational and serious sports bettors alike are gearing up for a massive day of wagering. Betting on the Super Bowl is a popular pastime — over 25 million people wagered on the big game in 2020. This year, DraftKings Sportsbook and other gambling websites are sweetening the deal. Popular online sportsbooks are advertising guaranteed wins on a user’s first bet to promote wagering on the game.
Sadly, as the popularity of online and mobile sports betting grows, so does the risk of developing a gambling addiction.
How Sports Betting Can Turn Into an Addiction
All gamblers begin the same way — with the idea of fast money. Sports betting always starts as a form of entertainment. However, for those prone to addictive behaviors, this pastime can set the stage for heartbreak. Whether due to an underlying mental health issue or other factors, certain people are more prone to gambling addictions, just like some are more at risk for drug or alcohol misuse.
It’s so easy to get carried away when wagering on a big event like the Super Bowl — especially when bets seem too good to be true. These guaranteed bets are designed to lure you in with grand hopes of winning big. After all, it seems as though you can’t lose. However, gambling is entertainment, not income. It’s never a sure thing.
Once a compulsive gambler experiences a win or starts chasing their loses, they can become hooked. It won’t matter if their behavior begins draining their bank account or hurting their family. The desire to wager more and more despite its negative impact drives many people deeper and deeper into a sports gambling addiction.
The Dangers of Sports Betting and Super Bowl Gambling
Online sports betting calls for restraint, planning and budgeting. If you’re unable to control your betting habits, your sports gambling pastime can quickly spiral out of control.
Before placing a bet this Super Bowl Sunday, check your attitudes about gambling. False beliefs can impact the way you conduct yourself in regards to sports betting and can contribute to the formation of an addiction. Ask yourself if you think:
- Gambling is an easy way to make money.
- You are smart enough to beat the odds.
- The more you spend gambling, the more you’re going to win.
If you hold any of these inaccurate attitudes toward sports betting, you should avoid betting on the big game. Other warning signs that you may struggle with a sports gambling addiction include:
- Preoccupation with gambling and online betting sites
- Attempting to control your betting habits without success
- Needing to bet more money to get the same satisfaction
- Gambling more to earn back the money you lost from previous wagers
Tackle Gambling Addiction at Gateway
Instead of placing a big wager on this Sunday’s Super Bowl, it may be time to get the help you need to break free from compulsive sports betting. Remember that even with “guaranteed” bets, the only sure thing about gambling is that you and your loved ones lose in the end. If you or someone you love is struggling to control their gambling habits, Gateway Foundation can help. We offer effective, evidence-based treatment for gambling addiction so that you can regain control of your life. Contact us today to learn more.