Online resources may bring gambling addiction to a greater risk

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, which is the biggest day of the year in the sports betting world. A record number of Americans plan to wager on this year’s big game.

We explain why with sports betting at the palm of your hands, those with an addiction are at a greater risk.

This weekend when the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Sofi Stadium in California. With just a few taps on your phone, you can bet whatever you want on either team.

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A record 31.5 million Americans plan to bet on this year’s Super Bowl with over $7.6 billion forecasted to be wagered on the game.

“We’ve seen more and more of the revenue that will come from online gambling,” said Doug Harbach of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

But is that a good thing?

“For some people, this is a struggle for some folks they’re not able to just watch that and brush it off or not pay attention to it or not let it become their every thought,” explained Josh Ercole, of the Compulsive Gambling Council of Pennsylvania (CCGP).

Ercole, the executive director for the council on compulsive gambling of PA says legal sports betting is increasing a public health crisis in America involving problem gambling.

PA online gambling in just its third year doubled its revenue from 2020 to pass 1.1 billion dollars. While sports betting also continued to grow in just its fourth year totaling $340 million in revenue.

“That number has just continued to climb. In the last 3 months, it’s been in excess of 750 each month that’s been wagered,” stated Ercole.

The simple ease and the rapid rise of in-game betting also feed into a compulsive gambler’s desire for more and faster opportunities to bet.

“There are so many opportunities for somebody to make a wager within a single sporting event now,” said Ercole.

There is a national helpline for people with a gambling problem, or who think they might have one, you can call 1-800-gambler.

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