If you’re reading this, I assume that you’re either a professional sports bettor or a sports fanatic who loves to place wagers on all the major sporting events. It’s likely that you’ve even considered trying your hand at sports betting, perhaps even believing that it’s a way to make easy money fast.
While it’s true that sports betting can be a source of lucrative earnings, it’s also a very risky venture. The majority of sportsbooks out there are operated by unscrupulous bookmakers who have no problem taking your money and not providing the services they promise. Even worse, much of the sports betting action today is fueled by illegal gambling activities, including sports betting, and many people get hurt or killed betting on sports.
The Science of Why Sports Betting Is Difficult To Stop
Anyone who’s ever tried to quit a habit or a vice knows that it’s not easy to do. It’s particularly difficult to stop wagering on sports, especially the big-name sports that people are naturally inclined to root for or against. When the New England Patriots are playing, for example, it’s easy for me to sit back and relax, knowing that my team is going to win, and I have somewhere to go after the game that doesn’t involve cleaning out my house.
This urge to place a wager on the game is actually a natural reaction. It’s a part of human nature to feel excited about spectacular sporting events, and sportsbooks encourage this feeling by presenting the games as something to bet on.
Even worse for those who want to quit, there are cognitive and emotional factors that make it hard to control the desire to bet. On the cognitive side, it’s easy for me to remember the last time my team won a big game or placed a big wager, and it’s not easy for me to forget what happened the last time they lost. On the emotional side, many people who bet on sports feel a sense of accomplishment after winning a wager, and it’s not easy to feel bad about something you’ve done.
Research shows that it takes about four times as long to recover from a gambling addiction as it does to develop one. That means it takes about one month to stop gambling and start feeling good about yourself again, as opposed to just four days to recover from the habit. It also means that you’re more likely to get hurt or sick from gambling than you are to die from it. This makes sense given that you’re usually risking money you can’t afford to lose. An estimated 1.9 million Americans are currently affected by some form of gambling addiction, and it’s one of the top 10 causes of financial stress.
The Reason Why You Shouldn’t Bet On Sports
There’s a reason why you shouldn’t bet on sports. Sure, you may be able to win some money, but the odds are always against you. When you bet on sports, you’re essentially taking a chance on an unpredictable event. You’re putting your financial security in the hands of a bookmaker who may or may not pay off on his promises. It’s not always easy to tell which ones are reliable and which ones are not.
To give you an idea of how unpredictable the outcome can be, here are some figures from the Nevada Gaming Control:
- In 2011, there were 1,426 confirmed complaints related to sports betting. The vast majority of these complaints (1,156) involved allegations of fraud and misrepresentation by the bookmaker. In 112 cases, there were allegations of cheating by the athlete.
- There were also 1,296 complaints in 2010, 1,240 in 2009, 1,128 in 2008, 1,067 in 2007, and 983 in 2006.
- Over the last five years, there have been on average more than 10,000 complaints per year regarding alleged improper activity related to sports betting in Nevada. That makes sports betting the most complained-about form of gaming in the state.
The point is that you should never, ever bet on sports. Even if you consider yourself to be a smart and experienced gambler, you may be risking more than you should. If you’re looking for a way to make extra cash, you can start a side gig as a sports bettor or place bets on your favorite team’s games, but beyond that you should stick to games within your league or college football and basketball.
Why It’s Hard To Stop Wasting Your Money On Sports
There are several reasons why it’s difficult to stop wagering on sports. First, you may need help overcoming your psychological addiction to sports. If you’re looking for an easy way to make quick cash, you may be drawn to places like sportsbooks that promote themselves as being able to get you winning tickets. However, sportsbooks are often the source of addiction because they encourage you to keep placing wagers, even if you continue to lose. This can lead to larger and larger betting pots, which in turn makes it easier to spend money that you don’t have.
Additionally, many people who lose a large sum of money in one spot, like a slot machine, never fully recover from the traumatic experience. The last thing they need is to go back for more, especially when they’ve already spent so much just to make it to where they’re at. Finally, many gamblers avoid discussing their addiction with family and friends because they don’t want to be judged.
If you’re serious about breaking your addiction to sports, you need to be ready to put in the time and the work. In some cases, this may mean trying to overcome your psychological addiction to sports. While it may be easy for you to place a wager on your favorite team, it’s not always easy to put the emotional energy into something that’s causing you so much stress and anxiety. It may also mean taking a longer time to recover than you would if you were just gaming for fun.
How To Stop Sports Betting Addiction
If you’re really looking to put an end to your addiction to sports betting, it’s important to develop a solid plan. One of the first things you should do is to find a support network. Fortunately, you have a choice of where to go for help. You have the option of speaking with a trained professional who can offer sound advice regarding your addiction or reaching out to an anonymous helpline and getting the support you need to conquer your disease. For a limited time, you can contact the National Council on Addictions (NCOA) at 1-888-880-711 to find a list of local counseling centers that provide free support through a confidential helpline.
If your addiction is becoming more serious, it may be time for you to consider speaking with a professional. If you’re worried about how much you’re betting or the possibility of getting in trouble with the law, it may also be time for you to take stock of your addiction and consider seeing a trained professional. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a psychological or a physical addiction, one of the first things you should do is seek help from professionals who are trained in dealing with addiction of any kind.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to develop a recovery program. It takes about four times as long to stop gambling as it does to begin with, so you have plenty of time to get your life back on track. In most cases, it takes about one month for a full recovery to occur. During that time, it’s important to avoid all forms of gambling, including sports betting, because it may tempt you to go back and place another bet. This is why it’s so important to stay away from casinos and other types of gambling dens during this period.
As you begin to put the pieces of your life back together, it’s important to set a goal for yourself. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand and ensure that you stay motivated to stop your addiction. Setting a goal may mean deciding to donate some of your earnings to a charity or to a family member who needs help paying medical bills.
To stop betting on sports, it takes a lot of willpower and determination. If you’re serious about breaking this habit, it may be time for you to seek professional help. In most cases, it takes about four times as long to recover from an addiction as it does to develop one. This means that you have plenty of time to get your life back on track. However, it may also be necessary for you to undergo counseling or training to help you overcome your addiction. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not you want to stop betting on sports, but it’s important to understand why it’s so difficult to do so. The fact that you’re considering giving it up indicates that it’s definitely time to get help.