“It was $50, $100, $150,” he says. “Then one night I sat at home and added it up. I lost 10 grand in three months.”
Looking back, Umali is still amazed at how quickly she got hooked. He says he felt addicted within a week.
“You know it’s legal, you try it, and boom, you’re addicted.”
This is the result many addiction experts now fear. Sports betting went mainstream in 2018 following a landmark Supreme Court ruling that made legal gambling on games a state-by-state ruling. A regular part of the fan experience. Coupled with the boom in sports betting apps that eliminate much of the friction that once slowed down the gambling process, there is growing concern over the potential for new gamblers to go crazy.
Timothy Fong, co-director of the UCLA Gambling Research Program, said: “What are they going to do to the world of gambling?”
Common mistakes every sports gambler should avoid
we are trying to find it. More than half of US states now allow some form of online sports betting (some only allow face-to-face options), and others could follow in the next few years. seems expensive. The normalization of previously considered taboo practices in less than a decade, combined with the addictive risks inherent in sports gambling, may have created a flammable environment.
With that comes a movement to combat the risks of problem gambling. The move includes organizations that you would expect, as well as those that you don’t. For example, the NFL plowed his $6 million into the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG). This is the group’s largest donation ever. Funds are also mandated in some states. For example, in his 2023 budget in Michigan he has $3 million. And operators themselves, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, have dedicated their roles and resources to helping those in need.
Is it an effective countermeasure? Or is it a quiet wake-up call drowned out by the noise of propaganda? The answer may affect lives and livelihoods. One report in the UK, where sports betting has been more liberalized for some time, found 55,000 ‘problem’ gamblers between the ages of 11 and 16.
Responsible gambling expert Brianne Doura-Schawohl said in an interview that “the public crisis is already here” and “bubbles beneath the surface” in the United States.
“We’ve basically poured kerosene on it by legalizing it without any serious attention,” she said.
“Illusion of Control”
Gambling has been part of American society since its inception, but research into sports betting and the problems it causes is just beginning. According to the author, his 2019 report in the Journal of Gambling Studies “is, to our knowledge, the first to examine risk factors for gambling problems specifically related to sports betting, but not gambling in general.” is.”
And what experts have discovered is that sports betting can pose a worse problem than traditional casinos and cards. There are often Random bounces of footballs and blown referee calls do not tend to affect a bettor’s belief system.
“Psychologically, it’s a little different,” says Fong. “You’re not necessarily betting to make money. You’re betting to make yourself look smarter.”
This series examines the impact of legalized gambling on sports through news reporting, accountable journalism, and advice for navigating this new situation. read more.
When betting goes wrong, it can cause more problems.One study in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors found that “sports betting, compared to non-sports betting, was more associated with gambling problems, illusions of control, and probability control. , is more strongly associated with cognitive distortions related to interpretive control.”
The “illusion of control” may be further enhanced by the rapidity of technology in the age of 5G gambling. No need to physically withdraw cash from an ATM, drive to a casino, or wait for a dealer at a blackjack table.
This rapid advancement in technology has given gambling operators a lot more insight into their customers, such as when, how much and who they bet on. Addiction experts argue that companies have a responsibility to use that data to maintain bets. because it’s addicting.
NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said: “We know they use that data for everything else.”
Chrissy Thurmond, who manages the responsible gambling division at DraftKings, said the company is developing a “significant and robust” program to educate and support its customers. Her group “just started collecting metrics on the message of responsible gaming,” Thurmond said, adding that the site’s response rate indicates that bettors are at least willing to consider the guidance.
Some states have also taken steps to combat gambling addiction. Michigan offers a self-exclusion option that essentially prohibits bettors from betting online for a period of time. Then, once the self-exclusion is over, counseling his resources are provided.
It is advantageous for sports betting operators and states to provide support. Gamblers who can control their worst impulses are more likely to become customers longer. But by design, the odds are piling up against those who choose to bet regularly, and there are limits to what sportsbooks can do to stop those in trouble.
“You can play as fast and as long as you want. “Suddenly, how much money are we spending? Before you know it, you’re going down the rabbit hole.”
There is an argument that legalization could reduce the stigma around sports betting and lead to healthier conversations about it. Umali says online he was never addicted to poker before playing it, and wouldn’t have started playing if it wasn’t legal.
“I can’t stop”
There are several barriers to rehabilitation specific to sports betting. Many Americans grow up hearing that casinos are places of temptation, but sporting events have a different reputation. Parents rarely worry about their children watching too much sports, and most broadcasts now incorporate gambling prompts. ESPN also has a gambling show.
“For Americans, sports are like religion,” said Doura-Schawohl. “We use it to define who we are. Attractiveness is much more important. [Bettors] Not only can you underestimate the amount you spend, but you can minimize the harm that can be done because it is related to the sport. ”
Some experts are concerned that even when funds are put in to help people, resources are delivered too late or not at all.
“I’m worried,” Fong said. “The problem in our field goes beyond gambling. We don’t have research funding.”
The deployment of gambling options significantly preceded the deployment of risk prevention resources. Some states have taken some significant steps, while others have simply collected a huge windfall of new tax revenue. On the other hand, at the individual level, operators have sufficient funds to offer attractive cash bonuses for making their first bets from a new account. For example, new smokers see such offers Certainly not.
“Think about advertising,” said Manny. “All these kids watch Facebook, Instagram, every game you watch. If you she’s 12, 14, the background is DraftKings. Why don’t they gamble?” mosquito?”
Until recently, every generation has grown up with some form of delayed gratification as it is associated with making legitimate bets. Now, depending on where you live, you can bet on games faster than you can walk across the room to get a glass of water.
“I don’t know what we’re bringing to the new generation under 21,” says Fong. “Before, you couldn’t even talk about gambling unless someone said, ‘You can’t talk about gambling.’ This generation is growing up gambling on TV. All we can say is, It’s just that it’s a big deal: the sooner you start gambling, and the more regularly you start gambling, the biggest risk factor for addiction.”
According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, the gambling addiction rate in America is about 1% of adults. It’s been pretty stable. But a notable rise could affect millions of people – not just gamblers, but those who rely on them as fathers, mothers, colleagues and friends.
“One team wins every game,” Manny said. “That’s why you get drunk. It’s so hard to stop.”