The Super Bowl, one of the most beloved annual sports events, is also one of top sports events for gamblers every year (second maybe only to March Madness). Half of all Americans placed a bet on the Super Bowl in 2013, with wagers totaling almost $100 million at Nevada casinos alone.
Although the Super Bowl is just days away, you do not have to let sports betting excitement trigger your gambling addiction and halt your recovery.
As we inch closer to kickoff, it is important to seek help if you feel the urge to place a bet. Avoiding situations that might encourage you to gamble is a must for anyone trying to stop the effects of his or her addiction.
Super Bowl and Gambling Triggers
Gambling triggers can vary from person to person, and it’s important to recognize what reasons or circumstances cause you to gamble. There may be certain people in your social group who may influence you to place a bet, or venues such as casinos, resorts or even grocery stores with lottery options. You might gamble around people who are gambling or when you have feelings such as anger, depression or frustration. Some problem gamblers may even be triggered by happiness and choose to gamble to celebrate or socialize.
This is precisely why the Super Bowl is a dangerous time for problem gamblers. The Super Bowl provides a highly-talked about, competitive and social event for gamblers and non-gamblers. The score of the game can result feeling a sense of winning, whether through financial gains or simply having bragging rights. It can also result in significant loss. As the Super Bowl is an event often bet on even by individuals who rarely gamble, its thrills and suspense can be hard to avoid for problem gamblers.
We are with you in solidarity during your recovery, and we are here to support your decision to stop gambling and stay gambling free.
Tips to Enjoy the Super Bowl without Gambling
There are some surefire ways to avoid gambling during the Super Bowl. These strategies don’t have to be difficult if you’ve dedicated yourself to recovery.
- Avoid betting pools, either in your office or social group.
- Monitor or eliminate your alcohol intake, and remove any other substances that could trigger your addiction.
- Watch the game at home with family members instead of going out to bars or other facilities where you may be influenced to bet.
- Save the NYS HOPEline number (1-877-8-HOPENY) and call if you feel the urge to place a bet.
Gambling Safety Tips for Family Members and Friends
In addition, people close to a problem gambler should stay aware of their loved ones for signs of a problem during popular gambling events. Is he or she uncharacteristically disturbed over every yard lost or gained, and appears to be taking it personally? Does he or she look more stressed than necessary? Do you recognize signs you became familiar with when gambling addiction had controlled his or her life before recovery? If so, this could be a clear indication of someone dealing with the consequences of problem gambling.
Stay Problem Gambling-Free Throughout the Year
There will be more situations over the coming months that may trigger your desire to place a bet. Read our e-book, Staying Safe After Problem Gambling, to learn how to stay safe in your recovery process.
Make sure you know where to find help if you are bothered by a strong urge to gamble at any time. The NYS HOPEline number (1-877-8-HOPENY or 1-877-846-7369) is accessible in case of a problem gambling emergency. Counselors are available through the NYS HOPEline 24 hours per day, seven days per week. If you need help to stop gambling, call immediately.