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.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios NW Arkansas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More NW Arkansas stories

No stories could be found

NW Arkansaspostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios NW Arkansas.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more