Fantasy sports leagues provide followers with all the excitement of being at the game and the opportunity to interact with (and defeat) friends and colleagues. Despite the fun, though, fantasy sports can have a dark side when betting is involved.
Daily sports betting can rapidly become an addiction and can derailing your career, finances and personal life if left unchecked. Understanding the difference between just playing and enjoying fantasy sports and the harmful impact of daily betting on those same games is essential if you want to avoid the problems associated with gambling addiction.
Fantasy Sports vs. Daily Sports Betting
Participating in fantasy sports can be an addictive hobby, but unless you are also betting daily, it is relatively harmless. According to the Orlando Sentinel, picking a fantasy team and playing along is far different and less harmful than placing regular daily bets on your favorite sport. Both pastimes take up time and attention, but only daily sports betting has the potential to derail your life by becoming a gambling addiction. If your immersion in fantasy sports begins to include actual gambling, though, you could be headed for trouble.
Is Sports Betting Impacting your Life?
How much is too much? According to Scientific American, gambling can be as addictive as any drug and addiction can have a serious impact on your life. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, over 2 million individuals in the US are addicted to gambling at any given time. How can you tell if you or a loved one has crossed the line into a sports gambling addiction? The following signs are clear indicators of a problem:
- You can’t stop wagering. If you can’t walk away from a game or have trouble signing off form your preferred site for the night, you could have a problem. When betting begins to take up both your time and your money, you’re heading for trouble.
- You gamble with the rent or other essentials. When you spend money you can’t afford to lose on your sports betting, you’re likely experiencing trouble with gambling. If you are borrowing money or using the grocery budget to gamble, it is time to get help.
- You try to “win back” money you lost. If you bet on sports to win back money you already lost, you could be in trouble. Throwing away additional money in the desperate hope that you’ll break even is a red flag and a sign that you should seek out help.
- You begin putting sports betting first. When you skip out on family outings to stick by the computer or phone and place sports bets or leave work early to check the scores, you’re in too deep.
- Your betting impacts your emotional and personal life: If family members are increasingly concerned about your betting or you are feeling stressed or remorseful after you’ve won or lost, it is time to look for help.
If you’re worried about your betting or feel like you need additional help assessing your betting habit, we can help. Contact us to talk confidentially about sports betting and to learn more about the assistance that can help you get your life back on track. That first step could change your entire life for the better.