Feb 9, 2024 - News

What to know about gambling addiction

Animated illustration of a sports betting app on a phone starting to shake, and a delete button popping up in the top right corner.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A record number of Super Bowl bettors this weekend means more opportunities to get hooked on gambling.

Why it matters: Stats are sparse, but it's estimated that 39% of U.S. residents bet on sports.

  • Most online sports bets come from younger men — an estimated one-third are ages 18-34 — according to a survey by Siena College.

What they're saying: "I have patients who gamble in the shower. I have patients who gamble before they get out of bed in the morning … there are no guardrails," gambling addiction therapist Harry Levant told "60 Minutes" recently.

  • Levant is a recovering gambling addict.

The other side: Saracen's app makes it easy for a user to set limits on their wagers, but it's difficult to turn those limits off, the casino's Carlton Saffa said.

  • Additionally, if someone "indicates they have a problem gambling, we ban them from both the casino and the app," he said.

What to know: If you or someone you know has a problem with online gambling, help can be found at 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537), text 800GAM or chat at 1800gamberchat.org.

  • The Arkansas Problem Gambling Council can be reached at 501-403-2321.

Go deeper: Arkansans wager on Kansas City for Super Bowl LVIII

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Saracen spokesperson Carlton Saffa's name.

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