The FOMO Problem with Gambling and Sports Betting

You’ve been gambling too often and realize that it’s time to take a break. However, you’ve been down this road before and found yourself back in the mix before your betting accounts had time to cool off. You realize that there’s one thing that keeps you in the game no matter how hard you try to abstain – the fear of missing out (FOMO).

FOMO is a relatively new phenomenon that is a direct side effect of digital transformation. In the past we could only speculate on what we were missing out on by not participating in a certain “event”, but technology has now enabled around-the-clock and real time access to this information. Didn’t go to a party? There’s essentially a live stream of it on your social feed from the moment your friends arrive.

While FOMO isn’t a diagnosable psychological condition the phenomenon can directly impact one’s mental health. Concerns are compounded when it causes someone to participate in something that may already be harming their emotional wellbeing. A prime example of this scenario is FOMO and gambling (namely sports betting). They go hand in hand because it feels as if there is an opportunity cost to not making a given wager. While operator provided self-exclusion tools can help, they are not enough to get over the FOMO problem with sports betting. By adding the following to your FOMO gambling strategy you will learn to not care about hypotheticals and instead live in a happier and healthier now.

How to Beat FOMO When Taking a Break from Sports Betting and Gambling

Unfollow Sports Scores During Your Time-Off

Powerball players know to never check to see if their regular numbers were drawn if they weren’t able to make it to the bodega to get a ticket. Apply the same logic to sports betting and never make theoretical picks on games during your break. As soon as you do, you’ll run the calculus on what a given wager could net. While the house invariably wins over time, its possible that you could make the right pick during your period of self-exclusion. That would be all of the misguided rationalization needed to return to gambling. Avoid all urges to fill literal and imagined betting tickets with point spread picks and parlays as doing so leads to FOMO.

Unfollow Gambling Friends and Influencers

You can’t beat the fear of missing out if you’re online and watching friends, celebrities, and influencers make their sports betting picks and celebrating wins (they don’t share news of their losses). If you can’t avoid social platforms altogether, temporarily MUTE all profiles that will tempt you. Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and X all have 30-day MUTE features that allow you to stay connected to those you currently follow, while keeping their posts out of your feed during the period. That way you don’t “insult” actual friends during your sports betting timeout. As far as gambling celebrities and influencers are concerned, you may as well block them now. It’s only a matter of time before U.S. states follow Canada’s lead and ban celebrity involvement in gambling advertising.

Turn Off Notifications

You’re also afraid of missing out on reload bonuses and other new promotions. Self-exclusion from regulated operators will prevent these from coming through on your smartphone. However, if you’re like 89% of the American betting population you may be registered with unregulated sportsbooks. Unregulated operators generally offer larger deposit bonuses (100% and more) to compete with the regulated market, and will send numerous emails, SMS messages, and DMs to bring you back. Turn off push notifications for your devices and delete the apps (even if temporarily) for good measure.

Recognize and Focus on What You’re Gaining Instead

When habitually or compulsively gambling you’re actually missing out on a lot of more important things in life. Use your time-off to recognize, appreciate, and focus intently on what these are. It will make you realize that what you gain by not gambling is greater than the sum of what you gain when you do.

Examples of what you may gain during your break include the following:

  • Reduced gambling debt
  • A more consistent and predictable bank account balance
  • Greater investment in your career and/or business
  • More time with friends doing things that you once loved to do together (besides gambling)
  • More time with family and loved ones
  • More time immersed in healthy personal passions (reading, art, travel, etc.)
  • More time to focus on your physical health and fitness
  • More time to focus on your mental health and wellness

If FOMO keeps bringing you back to gambling even if after attempting all of the above, then there may be a deeper underlying mental or behavioral health concern at play. Therapeutic intervention for gambling disorder will be required to break the hold that the activity has on your life. Whether you’ve reached that point or you’d like to talk to someone to learn more about what you may be experiencing, reach to via the contacts below to connect with a Kindbridge care coordinator.

Let’s Talk About Your Relationship with Gambling

CALL +1 (877) 426-4258


Email [email protected]

FOMO Gambling Sports Betting - How to Beat FOMO