Gambling addiction is a tough reality to face, and it's a problem that could impact anyone. It can be hard to admit when gambling is controlling your life or the life of someone you love, but there are some red flags to look for in family and friends.
The Central Problem Gambling Resource Center (CPGRC) says there are two questions to ask to begin thinking about gambling's impact on your life: Have you felt the need to bet more and more money? Have you ever needed to lie to important people in your life about how much you have gambled?
CPGRC explains there’s other signs to look for in loved ones, such as having to borrow money to get out of gambling debt, missing bills, or using it as a way to escape daily life. Other warning signs include disappearing for long periods of time, decline in hygiene or ignoring household chores.
“Problem gambling marries right along with other addictions, so somebody who might be struggling with an alcohol addiction or nicotine addiction might also be struggling with a gambling addiction," said Elizabeth Toomey, Team Leader for Central Problem Gambling Resource Center.
A recent addition for New Yorkers is mobile sports betting. According to the State Gaming Commission, the total amount bet on mobile sports so far in 2022 is $4.6 billion. The top three earning platforms are Caesar’s, Bet MGM and FanDuel. But a new way to play can mean another way to get hooked.
Since mobile sports betting takes place on your phone, it might be tough to notice when it's becoming problematic.
CPGRC says some questions to ask yourself include: Are you on your phone checking scores more often than normal? Are you missing out on family time because you’re too busy on your phone watching games and scores? Are you betting on sports you’ve never cared about before?
“Especially when it comes to spending quality time with your family and loved ones, you might physically be there, but you might be somewhere else because of your betting," said Toomey.
Despite the new sports gambling option, most of the calls they get at the problem gambling resource center relate to casino gambling.
There are plenty of ways to reach out for info if you want to start the road to getting help. You can give a call to 315-413-4676 or head to NYProblemGamblingHelp.org.