This Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
A lot of people will bet on the game.
“It’s a huge event,” says Maya Chilese, the program manager of the State Division of Behavioral Health’s Gamblers Assistance Program.
And, it presents a huge problem for those with gambling addictions.
Chilese says most of us will be just fine.
“Most of America can certainly enjoy sports without problem and a lot of people can gamble without any problematic behavior,” Chilese tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Still, 55,000 Nebraskans suffer from some sort of gambling addiction.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched sporting event and one of the most-gambled-on sporting events. Some national projections expect betting on the Super Bowl this year to exceed $10 billion.
Problem gambling often spirals; betting more than you can afford, lying about your losses, attempting to cover losses and losing more.
Chilese says help is available and it comes in a number of forms. Treatment can include crisis intervention, individual counseling, family counseling, even group therapy. Help often is available at low or no cost.
The state urges you if you think you, a friend or family member may be experiencing problematic gambling behavior, confidential and free support is available at any time through the Gamblers Assistance Program’s Problem Gambling Helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More information about problem gambling, including low-risk playing tips, is available at PlayItSafe.ne.gov.
The Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administers the Gamblers Assistance Program. The program is paid for by funding in part from the State Lottery and the Heath Care Cash Fund.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]