Is Super Bowl Betting Similar to a Drug Addiction?

sports-betting-officeNext Sunday is the Super Bowl, the championship game of the professional National Football League (NFL) in the United States. As you probably know, the Super Bowl is much more than a football game. Its television broadcast is known for its commercials, its halftime show, its many hours of pregame coverage, and other related things.

The Super Bowl is also a pretty big deal for those of us at home. Many people (thousands? millions?) across the United States will be hosting Super Bowl parties. Many people will also be betting on the game and other aspects related to the game. (Did you know that people bet on the coin toss before the game?)

How many people will bet on the Super Bowl? Americans placed more than $130 million Super Bowl bets in Nevada alone in 2016. That’s not counting other people and places that take bets, such as bookmakers or informal pools among friends, family members, and coworkers.

Betting on games is a pastime for some. It’s also a dangerous habit for others. Some people even say that you can be addicted to gambling, just as you can be addicted to specific drugs.

Is gambling a true addiction, like an addiction to a particular drug? Many people seem to think so. Like addiction, gambling can disrupt or even destroy lives.

Many people treat gambling problems like drug or alcohol abuse. There are Gamblers Anonymous groups that help people with their gambling problems. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is similar to other 12 step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). It requires participants to work their way through a series of steps. These steps help gamblers admit that they have problems and encourages them to take actions to solve these problems, such as making amends to others that they may have hurt.