• Super Bowl Weekend: A Vulnerable Time for Those Struggling with Gambling Addiction

    01.31.19Cait Huble


    WASHINGTON, DC (January 31, 2019) – Super Bowl Sunday is one of the biggest betting events in the world. However it is important to consider the public health impact of problem gambling during this time.  Some of the 22 million Americans who will wager $6 billion dollars on the game are in the desperate grip of a severe gambling problem.

    The Super Bowl can be especially hard for people who suffer from a gambling addiction.  The massive advertising and promotions associated with the game are hard to escape and may trigger increased betting or a relapse into problems.  Research shows that people with gambling disorder, like substance use disorder, may have a genetic predisposition that drives their need to bet more and more money to achieve the same excitement or “high.”

    Symptoms may include:

    • Inability to set and stick to a limit of time and money spent gambling;
    • Viewing wagering as an investment; and/or
    • Betting to escape feelings of anxiety, stress or depression

    Each of these is a potential warning sign of a gambling problem or challenge to recovery.

    NCPG urges people who are at risk or experiencing problem gambling to contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline. The Problem Gambling Helpline offers hope and help without judgment or shame. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-522-4700 now.

    The National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) is a toll free, confidential, single point of access for problem gambling help via phone, text and chat. The National Council on Problem Gambling www.ncpgambling.org offers extensive referral resources and materials, including an anonymous self-test, an online directory of certified gambling counselors and a list of treatment centers with gambling-specific programs.

    In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Federal prohibition of state-authorized sports betting. Since the decision, eight states have joined Nevada in legalizing sports betting. As many as 30 more states are expected to consider sports betting legislation in 2019. The National Council on Problem Gambling expects that many states will choose to allow sports gambling, resulting in a massive expansion of gambling opportunities (including online sports betting) and a corresponding increase in gambling participation and gambling disorder, unless significant steps are taken to minimize harm.

    In response, NCPG developed the Safer Sports Betting Initiative (SSBI) that includes Responsible Gambling Principles for Sports Betting Legislation, a set of standards designed to protect individuals, gaming companies, and legislators. The only national non-profit that works with constituents on all facets of gambling, NCPG works to minimize the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction




    About the National Council on Problem Gambling

    NCPG is the national advocate for problem gamblers and their families. NCPG is neutral on legalized gambling and works with all stakeholders to promote responsible gambling. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 or visit www.ncpgambling.org/chat for confidential help.




    Cait Huble

    Communications Director, National Council on Problem Gambling

    (202) 360-4560