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Addiction to Sports Betting & Online Casinos for USA Players

05/21/2019, 9:00am CDT
By Jon Firman

The scale of the problem related to gambling addiction is striking. Some attribute ludomania to pernicious addictions, others believe it is akin to frustrations. Of course, most gambling platforms, namely responsible casinos by for gambling aware USA players, promote safe gambling. Nevertheless, addiction to gambling - no matter whether it is roulette, instant lottery, sports betting, poker or slot machines - can lead to financial catastrophe, cause difficulties at work and strained relations in society.

Compulsive players can do things that they would never have done before, for example, stealing or borrowing money for yet another bet. Gamers are not able to control their craving for gambling. They are ready for anything. This sometimes even destroys their relationship with the loved ones. Gambling becomes their new world; they need nothing else, and other activities do not matter.

Characteristics of an avid player

The term “gaming addiction” refers to a condition known as the pathological addiction to gambling. This is a progressive disorder in which a person, as a rule:

  • is too concerned about gambling or betting;
  • feels the need to play more and bet more money;
  • becomes irritable and restless when trying to keep from betting;
  • has a lack of common sense;
  • hides their craving for gambling from friends and family.

Many people are addicted to gambling, regardless of their wealth and position in society. There are many celebrities who have had problems with gambling: Charlie Sheen, Michael Jordan, Tobey Maguire, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps.

Gambling addiction is genetically inherited?

The research conducted by the UI in 2014 affirmed that pathological dependence on betting (gambling) originates within the family. There were 95 pathological gamers involved with a control group, as well as 91 control subjects. The participants of the control group were matched for education, sex and age.

Also, 1075 immediate family members were attracted to participate. Based on the interviews and materials, the survey team set the gambling addiction diagnosis for every individual in the research. The results were as follows: about 11% of the participants’ relatives in the research unit were gambling pathologically. The chances of getting a pathological dependence in playing families are almost 8 times greater than in normal ones.

Health problems and their connection to betting (gambling) addiction

The same studies point to the correlation between abnormal gambling and behavioral/mental disorders amongst research participants. The researchers inferred that sports betting addiction may be based on a genetic susceptibility, just like the above mentioned illnesses.


Before contacting a specialist, dependent people and their families need to consume a lot of information about the phenomenon of addiction in order to distinguish uncontrolled gaming from a real addiction, as well as study the main signs and symptoms characteristic of addiction. Still, if you understand that this is really not so easy, and you are unable to cope with it, just contact the experts, and they will definitely help you. You are not alone!

What Does the National Council on Problem Gambling say?

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is the most significant organization that deals with combating such addictions. It helps different people both at the initial stage of gambling addiction, and in subsequent hopeless periods. The main task of the National Council is to inform everyone about the risks associated with gambling and the problem of pathological gambling in general.

NCPG estimates that nearly three quarters of Americans play in casinos from time to time, including online casinos as well. Most of them do it responsibly. But there is a small but significant number of those who are truly dependent. About 2 million (1%) of American adults are addicted to gambling, and another 4-6 million (2-3%) are considered problem players. For many players, gambling remains a hidden addiction.

NCPG also believes that the number of sports betting addicts will grow because of the recent decision of the Supreme Court to repeal the PASPA law. The United States may face the largest potential expansion of gambling in its history. NCPG strongly recommends preparing for an increase in the cases of betting addiction, as well as finding solutions.

NCPG has announced the publication of the results of its innovative national research on gambling and gaming experience (NGAGE). The study includes questions about gambling, a focus on sports betting, problem behavior and positive gaming, as well as opinions about problem gambling.

According to the report, 73% of respondents were involved in gaming activity last year. The most popular type of entertainment was lottery — 66%. 15% of respondents wagered money in online casinos. Sports betting accounted for 20%, dog and horse races — 14%. At the same time, the majority (75%) of people equated game dependency to chemical dependency on alcohol or drugs. And only 13% considered gambling and betting immoral.

What about the American Gaming Association?

Studies of the impact of the PASPA law abolition on the rise of problem gambling were conducted by the American Gaming Association (AGA). The goal of the research was to find out the opinion of Americans about sports betting, their preferences and expectations, and also to understand the behavior of the bettors. The following conclusions were made:

  • approximately 100 million people (39% of adults) are active or potential bettors;
  • 46% of bettors in the gambling-friendly states believe that legalization has resulted in more frequent sports betting;
  • in those states where betting on sports is legal, only 56% know about it, while 41% of Americans believe that it is illegal to bet with a bookmaker.

The vast majority of Americans support responsible gambling principles. Responding to a question about the responsible gambling requirements to providers after the legalization of sports bets, 63% said that operators should devote a certain amount of income to addiction treatment and public awareness campaigns.

Responsible attitude to betting and gambling on the part of the players themselves should be demonstrated through their constant control over the means and time spent on this entertainment. Even if you are betting on sports or playing in an online casino, you need to treat it as a regular form of leisure in a balanced way of life.



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