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Marlboro, NJ 07746

Problem Gambling and the Big Game

Helpful hints from 1-800-Gambler for Game Day.  Did you know New Hope can help with Problem Gambling concerns?


Most Americans are looking forward to the Big Game on Sunday between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. There will be many celebrations in sports bars,churches and individuals’ homes.

Much hype and build-up surrounds the two weeks prior to the Big Game. The media frenzy can entice problem gamblers to place bets on point spreads, coin toss, quarter and halftime scores, and even the name of the song that will be sung during the halftime show. Enormous amounts of legal betting will occur, along with office box pools, offshore sports books operating internet gambling sites and, of course, street-corner bookies eager for some action. It is estimated by the American Gaming Association that 4.7 billion dollars will be wagered on the Big Game.

While sports betting is an illegal activity, problem gamblers often see the Big Game as a chance to win back the losses they have suffered during the regular season. New gamblers often get caught up in wagering on the game. Often, family members will experience emotional and/or physical abuse during the game, as so much is riding on the game. In addition, alcohol consumption can fuel the emotions and behavior of the problem gambler while watching the game.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, will receive an enormous amount of 800-GAMBLER calls from problem and disordered gamblers and victims of domestic partner abuse. Often the partner experiences abuse whether the gambler wins or loses. Serious financial losses are often the norm for the problem gambler; the problem gambler’s family is often left with financial devastation, much anger, and feelings of helplessness and despair.

Helpful Tips for Problem Gamblers and Families on the day of the Big Game:

  • Should you have the urge to gamble, call 800-GAMBLER for assistance.
  • Do something positive for yourself,or another, instead of betting on the
    Big Game.
  • Do not watch the game.
  • Go to the movies, a play, or go out dining; participate in any type of activity where the game will not be shown.
  • Avoid social settings such as parties on the day of the Big Game.
  • Go to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting; some meetings host a pizza party
    or special event on Big Game.
  • Should you wager on the game, know your limits; bet with your head and
    not over it.
  • Do not consume alcohol and/or take drugs if you have wagered on the
    game and/or will be watching the game.
  • Be mindful that physical and/or emotional abuse towards family or loved
    ones is not acceptable.
  • If you are a family member of a problem gambler, attend a Gam-Anon
    meeting this weekend.
  • Family members need to be mindful of the potential volatility of Big Game
    and their need for safety.

At 800-GAMBLER, we help problem gamblers and their families in three very profound ways by offering Support, Treatment and Hope. We’ve changed the lives of many and are a phone call or click away.