Super Bowl Set to Spike Problem Gambling (more than usual)

As a result of increased time spent online by more time spent online, more states legalizing sports betting, and an increase in gambling elements in video games, problem gambling is on the rise across the USA. It’s about to get a lot worse with the arrival of Super Bowl LVII (and all future editions) this February.

Since its inception in 1967, the NFL Super Bowl has consistently been the biggest betting event of the year for Americans. Last year, nearly 15% of the adult population in the U.S. wagered on the big game. Fifteen percent! That’s a massive number to wrap one’s head around, and it’s about to get a lot bigger. Last year at the same time, online sports betting was permitted in 18 states. That number has now almost doubled. When you consider that about 2% of Americans have a gambling problem, we have a problem ahead of us.

While Kindbridge has made it our mission to empower people with a wealth of resources to battle gambling disorder, we realize that it’s important to tackle one issue at a time. With the Super Bowl just days away (at press) the goal is clear – you (a problem gambler) need advice on how not to fall back into bad betting habits. Super Bowl will tempt you like no other seducer or seductress, so you need all of the help you can get. Let’s review.

Helpful Guide to Mitigate a Problem Gambler’s Risk of Betting Leading Into (and during) the Next Super Bowl

Don’t Gamify Any Elements of the Super Bowl

As an at-risk problem gambler, you know not to outright bet on the Super Bowl in the traditional sense. For this reason you must take all self-exclusion steps possible. Delete sports betting apps from your mobile devices, ask operators to remove your accounts, and use software such as Gamban to block access to digital betting platforms. These are a given.

However, like an alcoholic who may turn to non-alcoholic beer to feel “normal” while friends and family huddle together to enjoy the Super Bowl, you may be tempted to participate in other activities that “gamify” the experience.

Each football season, the number of Americans performing online search to find out if gamified football activities “count” as gambling grows. Below is a sample of online searches (from U.S. states) that we’re talking about:

  • is fantasy football gambling (up to 1000 searches per month)
  • is fantasy football considered gambling
  • is football squares gambling
  • is football squares considered gambling
  • are football pools considered gambling

*Source: Google Keyword Planner

The list of semantically related queries goes on, and on.

The fact that you have to pause to ponder whether or not activities that gamify your interest in making picks and predictions for the Super Bowl are related to gambling, is proof in itself. They are gateways to problem gambling for at-risk individuals, and as one of those individuals you must divorce yourself from these gamified activities.

Stay Away from the Barstool

Sports bars and betting are bedfellows. If you planned to meet buddies at the local watering hole to enjoy the Super Bowl, save yourself the walk or Uber and watch from home instead. This is necessary because exposure to gambling triggers increases your risk. Even if a sports bar isn’t state-approved to host on-site gambling (as is occurring in the newly anointed Ohio) there are triggers. They may include watching friends and others make wagers from their smartphones, and listening to their discussions about bets. Add alcohol to the mix, and your decision-making ability becomes further compromised. Hop off the barstool to limit your exposure this Super Bowl season.

What to do About Sports Betting Advertising During the Super Bowl

Speaking of exposure, what are you to do about the six sportsbook commercials that the NFL allows networks to run during each game? This is in addition to the number of gambling related ads that will run leading into, and after, the Super Bowl. Then there are the supposed news stories about betting that don’t count towards regulatory limits. Yes indeed, even at-home on the sofa you’ll be inundated by triggers to gamble.

Do you have to forgo watching the game to avoid ads promoting sports betting? Not necessarily. The Super Bowl, along with the fun (other) commercials, and the halftime show have become a part of America’s culture. It can absolutely be celebrated safely on a Sunday afternoon, despite the onslaught of gambling content. To help you do so, Kindbridge has put together a list of steps to take to reduce vulnerability to sports betting ads.

Get Support Before and After Super Bowl

You’re the quarterback of your own life. As such, you must make calculated decisions regarding plays that will benefit your health and wellness. That said, every quarterback requires an offensive line to protect against incoming threats. The incoming threat in this case, is the risk of problem gambling increasing with the arrival of the Super Bowl. And what about an offensive line to protect you from all angles? You’ve already found what you need in Kindbridge Behavioral Health. We offer easily accessible gambling disorder therapy on a one-on-one basis and in a group setting to accommodate your preferences. More importantly, gambling disorder support through Kindbridge occurs online so that you can get help today, before, during, and after Super Bowl weekend.

Get Super Bowl Ready:

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