As the Olympics approach, one of the most common concerns for addicts is sports betting. Experts are concerned about how easy it has become to gamble, and preliminary data may not accurately reflect the number of Iowans affected by this addiction problem.
If you or someone close to you requires assistance with a gambling addiction, call 1-800-BETS-OFF (1 877 234 3366) for more information in your area.
Iowans are preparing for their first Olympic betting opportunity, but addictions experts warn that gambling can have negative consequences.
It makes a sports fan’s heart race, but it can also be a fatal addiction. Iowa legalised gambling in bars and casinos for the first time since 1978 on August 15th, 2019, with small wagers placed by phone or computer at home.
“It’s right there,” Sharaine Conner of Thriving Families Counseling Services said of the fact that when we get an urge to gamble from our phones, it’s too easy to say no thanks.
Casinos and sporting events are open again now that the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. However, because of this year’s shutdown due to a nationwide flu outbreak, it’s unclear how much sports betting will affect Iowans in 2020.
When the 16th Street casino reopened late last month after a two-month closure as part of COVID precautions, coowner Tim Conner was surprised by the number of people who came in just to gamble – “just so they could play poker.”
“You’re not the only one who spends more money on gambling than they should.”
Those who gamble understand how difficult it can be to stop. According to Iowa data, approximately 14% of adult Iowans will have problems as a result of their habits and will need assistance in stopping or better controlling them.
It is critical to recognise the symptoms of gambling addiction, such as obsessive thinking about past or future experiences. Gambling can be very addictive and lead to problems with family, friends, finances, and so on, which is why it’s critical to be aware if someone in your life has a problem and requires help for recovery.
Iowans suffering from a gambling addiction can turn to Your Life Iowa for help. You can reach a counsellor by calling 1-800-BETS-OFF, texting 855-895-8398, or visiting Your Life Iowa’s website for chat options.