While sports betting can be fun, gambling can be a dangerous addiction for others

Sportsbooks across Arizona are expected to take in millions in wagers
It's the first Super Bowl since sports betting became legal in Arizona; so experts want you to be mindful of your financial limits.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 7:55 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- From online sports betting to Super Bowl squares, it’s one of the biggest weeks of the year for sports wagers! While it can be fun to place a bet, gambling can also be a dangerous addiction for some.

“This is a difficult period for a lot of people and it is definitely triggering just like March Madness and other events that we have throughout the year,” Elise Mikkelsen with the Division of Problem Gambling said.

Arizona is in a unique spot. For the first time, a Super Bowl is being played in a state where sports betting is legal.

“We understand that most people can gamble without any problem at all. There’s a low percentage, nationally, that number runs about 4-6% of Americans that identify as problem gamblers and so we know that that’s a small percent but we do have resources available,” Mikkelsen said.

Mikkelsen says if you’re addicted to sports wagering online, you can ban yourself from participating for one, five, or even 10 years. The Division of Problem Gambling can help in the self-exclusion process, which means you won’t be able to place a wager. Click here to learn more about how the process works.

The state also offers subsidized treatment services for problem gamblers and their “spouses, significant others, family members, even children.” Mikkelsen says the state usually pays out over a million dollars a year to help cover the costs.

Mikkelsen says it’s important to set limits beforehand and set a responsible maximum amount on how much you’re willing to wager.

“Don’t get caught up in the moment, set a limit, stick to that limit. Make sure that you’re having fun, make sure that you don’t involve your children with your gambling, enjoy the game with them, make it family time, but the gambling should be an adult activity only,” Mikkelsen said.

What resources are available?

Problem Gambling website: www.problemgambling.az.gov/

Gamblers Anonymous Phoenix Hotline Number: (602) 266-9784

24/7 Helpline: 1-800-NEXT-STEP

Text: NEXT STEP TO 53342