Letter to the editor: Downside gambling is a severe difficulty | Letters


The biggest game of the year is right around the corner, the Super Bowl. We’ve been watching and hearing about it on the news, on sports stations, reading about it in the newspapers and even talking about it at work or in school. It’s impossible to escape the buzz around the “big game.”

The Super Bowl is also one of the biggest betting events of the year. From workplace environments betting on squares, to a host of online bets and fantasy leagues, people can literally bet on every aspect of the game. It is estimated that over 22 million Americans will wager more than $6 billion on the game. For some people, these wagers may be more costly than they can afford.

Of those 22 million Americans betting on the Super Bowl, approximately 4%, or 880,000 individuals, experience a gambling problem. What does that mean? It means that they are unable to set and stick to a limit of time and money spent on gambling. It means that they may be betting to escape feelings of anxiety, stress or depression. Gambling behaviors may be causing problems at home, impacting their relationships with their spouse and/or children. They may also be experiencing problems at work. For some, their gambling may turn into an addiction.

While this may be an exciting time to watch and enjoy the Super Bowl, for some it can have a negative effect, both financially and emotionally. For those already struggling due to problem gambling, it may be one of the hardest times of the year.