Sports betting and other forms of gambling are primarily intended for entertainment. Regrettably, some individuals lose control, transitioning from entertainment to problem gambling and suffering severe negative consequences, often impacting their families. Problem gambling is also referred to as compulsive gambling and pathological gambling.
In the United States, the prevalence rate of problem gambling among adults ranges from 2.2% to 2.6%, while approximately 1% of the adult population experiences a “severe” gambling problem, as reported by the National Council on Problem Gambling, National Center for Responsible Gaming, and the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction. Statistically, younger individuals and young adults are more affected than other demographics.
Regulated gaming, specifically regulated sports betting, is safer than gambling in unregulated markets. State regulators mandate licensed operators to allocate resources to problem gambling and implement measures to prevent customers from engaging in potentially harmful behavior. Nonetheless, compulsive gambling can emerge in any market, legal or otherwise.
This page serves as a guide to problem gambling resources for individuals who suspect they have an issue, or for those concerned about a friend or loved one. The page provides help numbers, links to problem gambling forums, and articles featuring doctors and addiction experts who discuss behavior indicative of a problem and potential treatments.
The problem gambling test, developed by Mindway AI, employs neuroscientific principles to evaluate your play and determine if you are at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
Licensed sportsbooks may offer various measures to prevent addiction or halt its progression, though rules and regulations differ between states. Contact the regulatory body overseeing sports wagering in your state to inquire about available options, such as deposit limits, wager limits, session time limits, account cool-offs, loss limits, or self-exclusion.
For more information about problem gambling in your state, consult the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)’s treatment/resource finder. The NCPG offers a 24-hour confidential national helpline (1-800-522-4700), text service, and chat service.
Additional resources offering various forms of support and assistance for those affected by problem gambling: