How Much Online Gambling is Too Much?

In a recent (Sept 2023) Men’s Health issue that featured The Human Cost of the Sports Betting Boom it was unveiled that 80% of sports bettors spend up to 6 hours per day gambling, and that 76% of them wager through apps and websites. Meanwhile, online casino gamers spend about 3 hours per day immersed in the activity. If you’re among either group, you may have paused at least once to ask yourself; how much gambling is too much?

It’s tempting to answer this question by stating that if you have to ask, you’re probably already gambling online too often. However, the answer lies not so much in a set number of hours per day, week, or month, but in the answers to other related queries. If you respond in the affirmative to any of the following, it’s time to reexamine your relationship with sports betting and casino gaming and consider getting help.

5 More Important Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Concerned That You May Spend Too Much Time Gambling Online

I. Are You Experiencing Negative Outcomes?

There are a defined list of negative outcomes that are associated with problematic gambling behavior. If you exhibit or experience a combination of the consequences below, every additional hour engaged in the activity positions you deeper into its grasp:

  • You get notably defensive when asked about your time spent gambling.
  • You’re in debt because of gambling (20% are in debt due to sports betting alone).
  • You receive calls from lenders and loan companies.
  • You have been denied financing (i.e. business loans, mortgage applications, etc.) due to a history of gambling.
  • You have lost employment (or a contract, etc.) due to gambling’s impact on your ability to maintain focus and be productive.
  • You have divorced, separated, or ended a relationship up with a spouse, partner, or companion because of gambling.
  • You so much time talking about gambling (even just 15-minutes per day) that others around you have mentioned it.
  • You’re distracted while at familial, social, and workplace gatherings because you’re online gambling at these gatherings.

Negative outcomes also exist as physical manifestations of problem gambling. If you have noticed any of the following (running co-occurrent with online gambling) you are probably spending too much time sports betting or casino gaming:

II. Are You an “At Risk” Gambler (who doesn’t know it)?

If you’re vulnerable to developing gambling disorder, then any time spent gambling is too much. But as the heading infers, how can you answer the question about whether or not you’re “at risk” if you don’t know that you’re “at risk”? We can identify this for you.

For one, there are mental and behavioral health issues that may increase your vulnerability to developing gambling disorder, which include the following:

  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

View more on Who Has the Highest Risk of Developing a Gambling Problem for deeper insight.

Furthermore, there are certain livelihoods that have a complicated relationship with problem gambling. For instance, research finds that the rate of problem gambling among active duty military is 3.5 times higher than among civilians. Studies have found that the prevalence of problem gambling (6%), moderate-risk gambling (14%) and low-risk gambling (19%) in athletes far exceeds the equivalent rates of the general population. If you’re involved in these fields, and you’re already concerned about your relationship with gambling, you need to seriously limit your time or consider quitting altogether.

III. Does It Put Your Livelihood at Risk?

Beyond the above-detailed impact on motivation and productivity, there are other ways online gambling for any duration of time can negatively impact your livelihood. While the most highly publicized cases of this relate to elite athletes, there are a number of other industries that have or may have strict policies in place regarding employee participation in the activity. Fields that typically have policies regarding gambling to protect integrity include financial services and insurance services. Employed persons and stakeholders may not even be aware that these policies exist. If you’re employed accordingly, any time spent gambling is too much.

IV. You Gamble Until You Lose

This one is directly related to time spent gambling. Do you gamble until you lose on nearly every online session? The answer as to why you do this boils down to three things:

If you consistently gamble online until you lose, you are gambling too often. Read more about this particular concern.

V. Do You No Longer Enjoy Sports or Gaming Itself?

Yes, there is certainly a financial motivation to getting involved in gambling, but for most people it begins as a fun activity that gets the adrenaline and dopamine pumping. This is especially true for sports bettors who enjoy (at first) deeper engagement with a given game, match, or event with more proverbial skin in the game. However, over time, habitual gamblers begin to experience love-loss with a once favorite team or sport:

“As much as I enjoy it, gambling has ruined sport now, because you can’t watch it without thinking: ‘I should put a fiver on first goal.’ You can’t just enjoy it for what it is. It has completely taken over. All my mates can’t watch it without having a bet any more. It has ruined sport […] I can’t remember the last time I just watched the game like a real fan, without having a bet on it.”

Is Sports Betting Ruining America’s Love of Sports?

Sound familiar? If so, you’re spending too much time gambling.

To reiterate what we stated in the introduction, if you’re wondering how much gambling is too much, you’re already in problematic territory. You should take a break from sports betting and casino gaming (as applicable) and consider speaking with a specialist. In fact, we recommend taking a quick 5-minute quiz to determine whether or not you have a gambling problem. Click the link below to check:

If the results of the above quiz imply that you have a problem, or you simply want to have a conversation about your concern (for yourself or a loved one) please reach out to Kindbridge today.

CALL +1 (877) 426-4258


Email [email protected]

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