Big sporting events can trigger recovering gambling addicts

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Regardless of which team takes home the trophy, a good chunk of change hangs on the outcome. According to the American Gaming Association, 6.8 million dollars will likely be wagered on the big game.

Some people, like Zack Tanner, are placing their bets.

“I’ll bet on the chiefs to win probably,” Tanner said.

While others, like Shane Spencer, are avoiding gambling all together for fear they will not know where to draw the line.

“I love the game and I love the sport and the competition, but I really don’t see gambling, it can be an addiction or lead to a path that you’ll really regret,” Spencer said.

Sheila Moran, the director of communications for 1-800-Gambler, said he has got the right idea. When it comes to gambling, the risk is always higher then the reward.

“We find that one in 50 people in West Virginia are problem gamblers,” Moran said.

Now it is easier than ever to score, with the rise of online gambling sites and apps.

“It pulls up all the games you can potentially bet on. There’s a Superbowl game. The Chiefs have to win by one and a half points for your bet to win. Then you put whatever money you want to put on it. So say I do twenty dollars, I could win 17.39,” Tanner said.

Although some fans are just trying to have fun placing money on the odds, the Big Game can become worrisome for people who struggled with gambling addiction in the past.

“Sometimes they tell us that when a big event like March Madness or the Superbowl occurs and everyone around them, even people who don’t normally bet are betting, it triggers them. They start thinking about it. They think maybe I can just place one bet and maybe that will be okay,” Moran explained.

Sometimes the stakes are just too high.

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