Record-Setting Sports Betting for Super Bowl LIV Expected to Result in Unprecedented Inquiries for Problem Gambling Help

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“While the hype surrounding the big game and predictions about the results take the spotlight each year, those who suffer from gambling addiction struggle to resist the temptation to bet before and during the Super Bowl,” said Jennifer Kruse, Executive Director of the FCCG. “It’s important to shine the light on the issue of problem gambling, too. Currently, there are as many as 6-9 million people in the United States suffering from a gambling disorder, with hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly affected right here in Florida.”

The San Fransisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are meeting at Super Bowl LIV this Sunday, February 2, 2020, to close the National Football League’s 100th season at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. As the two predominant teams in the league prepare to face off on the sport’s biggest stage, and millions of fans ready their watch parties and travel arrangements, the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG) is anticipating an unprecedented number of calls to its 888-ADMIT-IT Problem Gambling HelpLine.

With the expansion of legal sports betting in 2019, Americans have never had more opportunity to wager on the Super Bowl. According to the American Gaming Association, a record 26 million American adults – that’s more than one in ten – will wager an estimated $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV. The survey conducted by Morning Consult also revealed that approximately 3 million more American adults say they will wager on this year’s Super Bowl than last year. With fans traveling from other states to attend the game, it’s important for them to know that sports betting has not been legalized in the State of Florida.

“While the hype surrounding the big game and predictions about the results take the spotlight each year, those who suffer from gambling addiction struggle to resist the temptation to bet before and during the Super Bowl,” said Jennifer Kruse, Executive Director of the FCCG. “It’s important to shine the light on the issue of problem gambling, too. Currently, there are as many as 6-9 million people in the United States suffering from a gambling disorder, with hundreds of thousands directly or indirectly affected right here in Florida.” Florida prevalence data also indicates that sports betting was the second-most popular form of wagering among college students with gambling problems, with 47.1% betting on professional sports alone. Youth between the ages of 13-17, a particularly vulnerable population, are also of concern and are among the fastest growing groups of problem gamblers, with prevalence rates in Florida at 3.8%. Since the Super Bowl becomes a family event in many households, it’s important to consider these vulenerable populations before starting a betting pool.

Prevention of problem gambling should be on everyone’s minds for the big game and beyond, as this issue affects more than the gambler and ripples out to the community at large. For every problem gambler, eight to ten other people are also negatively affected. The consequences can be much more than financial, as those with gambling addiction are three to four times more likely to be arrested and spend time in jail for crimes ranging from theft and fraud to domestic violence, child abuse, and family neglect. The odds of a marriage ending in divorce due to finances for these individuals is also twice the rate of non-gamblers.

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from problem gambling, Florida’s 24/7, Confidential, and Multilingual Problem Gambling HelpLine, 888-ADMIT-IT, will continue to be available throughout the game and offers help and hope for those feeling the impacts of gambling addiction. HelpLine Specialists can also be reached by texting to 321-978-0555, starting a LiveChat at gamblinghelp.org, or reaching out to the FCCG on Facebook and Twitter. Those who are traveling to Florida for the game can also be connected to help through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine.

“Enjoying the Super Bowl is something on everyone’s radar – and perhaps even more so this year, with the changing national landscape for sports betting. As a society, we need to make sure raising awareness about the issue of problem gambling is part of the discussion and be spreading the word that help and hope are available in Florida through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine for anyone who needs it,” concluded Kruse.

The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG) is a not-for-profit corporation under contract with Florida State government, serving as the designated state affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). In addition to operating the 24-hour Problem Gambling HelpLine (888-ADMIT-IT), the FCCG increases awareness of problem gambling through education and outreach efforts throughout the state of Florida, advocates on behalf of the public regarding issues relating to problem gambling, and provides programs, resources, and other population specific supports to those in need of assistance.

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