As the biggest sporting event of the year, the Super Bowl attracts many people that enjoy sports betting. Last year, according to Statista.com, people wagered over $138 million in Nevada alone.
Bettors can place money on almost every aspect of the big game. Which teams will be the ones to face off in the championship? Who will win? Which team will score the first touchdown? Everything from the final score to the opening song of the halftime show can become part of a wager. The Super Bowl gives residents of New Jersey plentiful sports betting opportunities.
Because of the prevalence of gambling during Super Bowl festivities, disordered gamblers in recovery may find this time of year particularly difficult. Although some people can enjoy gambling responsibly, even one bet can cause a problem gambler to spiral into an unhealthy cycle of disordered behavior.
We urge disordered gamblers to take precautions before the big game to ensure their safety. By avoiding events that will involve gambling, opening up about their concerns, and suggesting alternative activities, people that live with a gambling disorder can still take part in Super Bowl festivities.
Avoid Risky Environments
If you’re going to a sports bar or other public establishment to watch the Super Bowl, make sure you (or your loved one in recovery) finds out if others will be gambling. Depending on where you are in your recover, tuning out the people making bets and placing wagers may be a difficult or even triggering endeavor. You may be better off making alternate plans.
Communicate Your Concerns
If you’re planning on attending a Super Bowl party with family and friends, you may want to voice any concerns you may have about potential gambling activity. If others are planning to bet on aspects of the game, you may want to create a strategy so that you limit your exposure to betting. Communicating clearly about your needs and concerns will make any Super Bowl parties easier for you both psychologically and socially.
Again, if it looks like being near other gamblers will be unavoidable, consider making other plans.
Find New Ways to Celebrate
There are plenty of ways to enjoy game day without gambling, and maintaining recovery doesn’t necessarily mean white-knuckling it through every game day while everyone else has fun. Instead of placing bets, try engaging other people with Super Bowl trivia, having a cookoff, or bringing the excitement outdoors with a backyard football game.
As the big game approaches, we also wish to caution people against illegal sports betting. Laws vary from state to state and even from city to city. For example, although making wagers on the Super Bowl may be legal in Monmouth, NJ, betting for sports in Atlantic City is illegal. To learn more about strategies that can help you or a loved one recover from disordered gambling, call our hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER.