If you do choose to gamble, there are some things you can do to reduce the chances of developing a gambling disorder. Implementing these strategies can help you keep gambling a fun, exciting, and manageable form of entertainment.
Expect to lose.
Avoid gambling when angry, lonely, stressed, depressed, or upset.
Don’t “chase” your losses by making bigger bets to win back the money you have lost.
Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money, but rather as an enjoyable form of entertainment performed in moderation.
Set money and time limits for gambling and stick to them.
Don’t use your credit cards or borrow money to gamble.
Don’t gamble under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Take regular breaks from gambling and engage in other enjoyable forms of entertainment.
Casinos, sports betting, online casinos, iGaming, and even “free” internet games with in-app purchases make it easier than ever to gamble – and that means anyone can be at odds with gambling.
Even though gambling is illegal in Michigan for anyone under 18, about 80% of high-school aged kids in the U.S. report that they have gambled in the last year. There is a connection between online gaming and gambling, because many popular video games replicate real-life gambling behaviors.
Senior adults are also at risk, often due to loss experienced in their personal lives. While most older gamblers are looking for entertainment and enjoyment, nearly 48% report gambling to distract themselves and combat loneliness or boredom.
It’s important to know when to stop. If you or someone you care about is getting carried away with gambling, let’s work together to get help.
Watch for These Warning Signs
If you think you or someone you care about might be at risk for developing a gambling problem, watch for these warning signs. If you need help figuring out what to do next, call the Michigan Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-270-7117. Together, we can win them back!
Neglecting bills or other financial obligations
Using money set aside for savings, investment, or retirement to gamble
Large credit card debt as a result of gambling
Keeping gambling activities secret from friends and/or family
Changes in mood based on wins and losses
Skipping school, work, or other activities in favor of gambling
Lying about the amount or frequency of gambling
Stealing or selling items to get gambling money
Gambling to help forget problems
Frequent and unexplained needs for more money
Possessing large, unexplained amounts of money
Unexplained credit card charges or phone calls
Things You Should Know About Sports Betting
There are some features associated with sports gambling that may contribute to the development of a gambling disorder. Here are some things to consider before betting on sports.
Sports betting is not a risk-free activity.
In-Play sports betting may contribute to problem gambling.
Cash-out features can create the illusion of control/safety.
Continuous forms of betting (in-play) are associated with problem gambling.
The perception that sports betting is a “skill” is related to problem gambling.
In-play betting is associated with poor impulse control.
In-play sports betting has been found to be more prevalent with problem gamblers and is a significant predictor of at-risk gambling.
In-play sports bettors are more likely to “chase” their losses.
Research suggests that in-play sports betting has the potential to be more harmful than other forms of gambling.
Sports Betting in Michigan
Opportunities to gamble in Michigan increased dramatically on January 22nd, 2021 when online casino and sports betting apps for mobile devices went live. Anyone with a laptop, cellphone, tablet or home computer now has unlimited access to wagering on sporting events and fantasy sports contests. You have probably noticed the increased advertising for “Risk-Free Betting” or offers of “free money” for signing up. These offers proved to be very inviting because Michigan residents bet $115,000,000 on sports betting during the first 10 days!! So, the appetite for these activities is there, but there are some things you should know before you decide to place a sports bet.
Sports Betting and Online Gambling: A Potentially Volatile Mix
The rate of gambling problems among sports bettors is at least twice as high as among gamblers in general. When sports gambling is conducted online, the rate of problems is even higher, with one study of online sports gamblers indicating that 16% met clinical criteria for gambling disorder and another 13% showed some signs of gambling problems.
Concerns About Modern Sports Gambling
Nearly half of American adults have bet on a sporting event. More and more are betting online, with 45% of sports wagering now taking place through the internet. Today’s online sports betting is particularly concerning for several reasons:
•Access: internet gambling is available virtually all the time. It’s more convenient and provides more privacy.
•Early research shows that those who bet using mobile devices have higher rates of problem gambling.
•Live “In-Play” Betting: today’s sports gamblers can bet on much more than just the winner of a game.
•Sports gamblers can bet — during the game — on hundreds and potentially thousands of discrete events. Any aspect of a team or player’s performance or activity that can be measured is now a potential wager.
•This shortens the lag between bet and reward, increasing the speed and frequency of gambling, which increases the risk of problematic behavior.
Youth Are at Higher Risk
Data from 2018 shows that more than 75% of students gambled. This is a big concern given the risk-taking behavior that takes place in adolescence and young adulthood, along with gambling being more socially acceptable and glamorized than previously. More than 13% of adolescents wagered money on sports teams according to a study in 2017. Students most often bet on professional football and college basketball. Youth gamblers have higher rates of gambling problems than adults. Males are far more likely than females to both gamble on sports and to experience gambling problems.
Popularity and Growth of Fantasy Sports Gambling
From 2004 to 2018, participation in fantasy sports gambling quadrupled — from 14 million to 57 million. Higher fantasy game participation is associated with significant increases in problem gambling severity.
The Profile of a Sports Bettor
Heavy sports bettors who meet the criteria for clinical gambling disorder are typically male, young (up to age 35), single, fully employed, and have a high level of education. They think sports gambling is more skill than luck, suggesting they’re prone to distortions in thinking. They affiliate with others who favor sports betting, frequently taking advantage of different types of promotions, and are generally highly impulsive. (Source: NCPG)
Sports gambling can slip into dangerous territory. When it starts negatively affecting relationships, finances, and mental health, it’s not fun anymore. If someone you care about might have a gambling problem, you can help Win Them Back by calling the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-270-7117.