With sports wagering legal in many U.S. states, more Americans may be placing bets than ever on NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. Wager on sports? Here are some tips to keep things safe and fun.
1. Set a specific dollar limit–and stick to it.
This is especially important if you’re using an app or website. It’s hard to see dollars and cents when using non-cash means for betting.
2. Avoid using credit to gamble.
Is your credit card linked to the app? Switch to debit. This helps avoid temptation to dip into money you don’t have on hand.
2. Avoid “chasing” losses.
Is it the first quarter of the game, and you’ve already loss the over/under bet? Avoid chasing this with additional in-game wagers. Research shows high-frequency in-game wagering is a risk factor for problem gambling.
3. Remember it’s still a game of chance.
Even the most skilled sports bettors frequently lose. Players get injured. A field goal misses by an inch. A penalty negates a would-be winning score. No matter how much you’ve studied, the odds aren’t great overall.
4. Remember it’s entertainment, not an investment.
Sports wagering is meant to be fun to add a little excitement into watching the game. If you’re finding it’s no longer fun, if you’re finding yourself rooting against even your favorite team for the sake of a bet, or if it’s interfering with your relationships, finances or other areas of life, consider stepping back to assess whether sports betting is becoming a problem.
5. Keep your eye on the ball.
Enjoy the game, your team, and the ribbing among your friends. If someone you know has a problem, there’s help. In Oregon, help is free by calling 24/7 helpline, 1-877-MY-LIMIT or visiting www.opgr.org.