Excessive betting on sports can have a negative impact on your finances, relationships, and your mental health.
In Maryland, online and mobile sports betting went live at the end of November 2022. To date, the Center has seen an increasing number of in calls, texts and chats to the Helpline relating to sports betting, many of which relate to a younger demographic. Of Marylanders that sports bet and/or participated in fantasy sports, the percentage of disordered gamblers was higher compared to other forms of gambling. 20.8% of those who placed sports bets on-line were disordered gamblers, followed by 12.2% of those who participated in traditional fantasy sports, and 15.6% of those who participated in daily fantasy sports.
- Almost half of American adults have participated in sports betting and many of them have done it socially. But more people playing and betting could lead to a problem.
- Betting should not be a replacement for your hobbies or a way to earn income, and winning a bet should not be more important than cheering on your hometown team with your friends and family.
- It is common to think that sports betting is not really gambling because the bettor knows the rules of the sport or is a fan of the team, and thus is sure they will win the bet. But every bet is all up to random chance, which makes any form of sports betting gambling. And as with any other type of gambling, sports betting is best done responsibly.
- Problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or in extreme cases, even suicide.
- Nationally between 1% and 3% of the general adult (18+) population, or over 5.1 million people, experience a gambling problem every year. In Maryland, based on the 2022 prevalence study, 4% were identified as problem gamblers.
- In Maryland, based on the 2022 prevalence study, 12.2% of Marylanders participated in traditional fantasy sports: 15.6% participated in daily fantasy sports: and 20.8% participated in online betting.
Potential impact on youth and young adults
According to the 2021 NCPG NGAGE Report, the risks for gambling addiction overall have grown 30% from 2018 to 2021, with the risk concentrated among young males 18 to 24 who are sports bettors. About 5% of all young people between 11 and 17 also meet at least one of the criteria for a gambling problem. Children and young people are the fastest-growing segment of gamblers. With the onset of mobile and online sports betting in Maryland, access and availability to sports books makes it easier for children and young adults to place wagers.