Think your NCAA bracket picks are going to net you that pool of money? You and millions of others of others are about to descend into the yearly spring rite of college basketball known as March Madness. Bets of $5 or in many cases much more will be wagered in a tournament pool. Many of those same people do not consider it “gambling” in the harshest sense of the word. Rather, they consider it merely harmless office fun.
While most people are able to place these small and social wages on March Madness, it can come with heavy consequences for others. The NCAA estimates that among the 1 in 10 Americans who bet on March Madness, some are unknowingly introduced to a gambling addiction.
The scope of the problem is difficult to pinpoint because the pastime is illegal, yet socially acceptable, and frequently goes undetected by even close friends and family.
Below are some tips for those who are struggling with gambling:
- Remove yourself from situations that may trigger an urge to gamble, such as
being in sports bars when games are on, watching big games with large groups of
friends or participating in conversations about brackets with coworkers.
- Politely excuse yourself from participating in any gambling pools at work or
among groups of friends. If you feel comfortable, explain why you’d rather not
participate, and see if there is anything these groups can do to distance the
opportunity to gamble from you. Your boss may decide gambling is not the best
idea for the workplace if it puts employees at risk.
- Keep with you emergency numbers, such as the national gambling helpline 1-800-522-4700, your counselor or a friend who understands your situation, in case of overwhelming cravings to bet. The support of others can help keep your recovery on track when you have the urge gamble.
- Find other ways to enjoy March Madness. If you enjoy watching the games, find a friend or group of friends who are happy to enjoy the games with no gambling involved.
Trying to deal with the stress and tension brought on as a result of the gambler’s behavior jeopardizes the bond among family members. When the spouse, children, siblings and other members can no longer trust the gambler, there is loss of security. Eventually, they have no confidence in the gambler and even fear for their future, the result is a breakdown in the family
Endless lies, staying out late or not coming home at all, threats and manipulation due to gambling addiction all contribute to the dissolution of family ties. Many addicts feel shame, avoidance of friends, secrecy and try to hide the pain further. This can magnify
the isolation the family members feel as the gambler’s behavior gets more and
more out of control.
If you need assistance with legal issues that arise from gambling addiction or any other legal issues, then please contact Miller & Wynn. Our locally-based attorneys, Mike Miller and Christopher Wynn have decades of experience. Contact us for a free consultation at 770-942-2720 or visit www.MillerWynnLaw.com.