Be sure to pick up the latest issue (September 2023) of Men’s Health. While the “Hip Hop is 50!” feature is certainly worth the $6.99, you’ll find one of the most comprehensive accountings of problem gambling in America that we have seen from a mainstream magazine. In a country that’s riddled with incessant ads and advertorials promoting sports betting, what Men’s Heath (MH) has put together is a breath fresh air. It’s about time that a spotlight shines on the dangers of sports betting, and not the supposedly exciting lifestyle being hocked to America.
“Sports betting has exploded, and experts are warning about the dangerous effects of its widespread legalization. Why is no one paying attention?Human Cost of the Sports Betting Boom | Men’s Health, September 2023
Beyond producing a highly engaging editorial, MH dug deep and conducted a survey of 3,800 American men about their practices and perceptions around gambling. 1,500 of these men admitted to being active gamblers in having placed a sports bet in the past year. While we encourage you to grab your copy, we did want to share some important findings from the survey, which you can reference below.
61% Bet on Sports Daily/Weekly
Frequency is high amongst America’s male sports betting population. 80% of them spend up to 6 hours per day gambling.
Digital Transformation Driving Rise of Sports Betting Activity
76% of respondents indicate that they bet through an app or website, and 67% state that they bet more since using these online platforms.
Advertising Influencing Gambling Habits
Remember those incessant advertisements that we mentioned above? They work, as more than 50% of respondents admit that sports betting advertising has influence over their gambling habits.
Betting on Unregulated Platforms?
Interestingly, the majority who bet daily live in Florida, New York, California, or Pennsylvania. Sports betting remains illegal in California and Florida, which indicates that they may be using unregulated sports betting sites to make wagers.
Consequences Are Hitting Their Pocketbooks
You can’t spend 6 hours a day gambling (see above) and not feel the impact in your finances. Check out these financial findings from the MH survey:
- 1 in 5 males spend 25% of the income on sports betting
- 20% are in debt due to sports betting
- 51% are willing to wager $10K if it has the potential to win them $1 million
Consequences Are Hitting Their Mental Health
The following findings indicate that most (58%) of American men are also feeling the consequences in their mental health:
- 80% admit that sports betting makes them feel anxious
- 51% admit that sports betting negatively affects their mood
- 42% admit that sports betting negatively affects their productivity
- 34% admit that sports betting negatively affects their relationships
- Top mental health effects are i) stress ii) anxiety iii) depression
Consequences Are Hitting Their Physical Health
We have been quite vocal about the negative physical manifestations of sports betting, which includes reduced sex drive and performance. The MH survey also addresses physical consequences, which 43% of men admit to noticing. Top reported physical health effects are i) headaches/migraines ii) high blood pressure iii) weight gain.
American Men Are Ready to Get Help
21% of the surveyed sports bettors wish that they never started, and 28% admit that they have seriously considered quitting. This is one of the most important key findings, as it infers that a significant number of American males who bet on sports are coming to terms with the consequences of their actions. More importantly, 58% of those who think that they may have a sports betting addiction are willing to seek treatment.
To assist this concerned group of men and help them identify whether or not they have a problem, MH joined forces with Marc Lekowitz, ICGCII, and Kindbridge Behavioral Health advisor Timothy Fong, M.D. to provide a quiz that will help identify whether or not they have a problematic relationship with sports betting. Readers can access the quiz through the issue, but may also take a quick 5-minute Kindbridge gambling disorder quiz by clicking the link below:
Men’s Health Recommends Kindbridge Behavioral Health
While there’s a lot more to unpack from the “Human Cost of the Sports Betting Boom” in Men’s Health (get it here) we want to draw your attention to the feature’s final call-to-action:
“Ready to take the next step? Book an appointment with Kindbridge Behavioral Health, and receive a 20 percent discount on your first therapy session using the code “MensHealth20” Make sure to also include Men’s Health as the referral source on the intake form.”Human Cost of the Sports Betting Boom | Men’s Health, September 2023
That’s right, MH has entrusted Kindbridge – America’s problem gambling support network – to help their readers who suffer from an unhealthy relationship with sports betting. Schedule your first session by reaching out to a care coordinator and provide the MensHealth20 code for even more affordable access to treatment.