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Problem Gambling Awareness Month coincides with March Madness

The NCAA men's basketball tournament is the most wagered-on competition of the year, according to the American Gambling Association.
A person places a bet at a casino.
Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 20, 2024

Gambling is big business in March. From office pools to online sports betting, people don't necessarily need to find a casino to put money on the biggest sporting event of the month: March Madness. 

“March Madness is one of the best traditions in American sports — and America’s most wagered-on competition,” American Gambling Association President and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement ahead of the 2023 event. 

While wagering can add excitement to the games, it can also cause real problems. That's why March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. 

People who experience problem gambling can show numerous signs of trouble. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling says people with a gambling addiction typically display warning signs. They include thinking about gambling all of the time, feeling the need to bet more often and "chasing losses."

The council notes that problem gambling doesn't just have to do with how much money a person loses, it's also about the person's mental state and the urge to continue wagering. 

The American Psychiatry Association encourages people who are dealing with problem gambling to seek help. It recommends counseling (virtual or in-person), support groups and more education about the topic. 

People can call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700 to seek help. It's available 24 hours a day. 

Casinos raked in a record $66.5 billion in 2023
People playing on slot machines

Casinos raked in a record $66.5 billion in 2023

Online gaming now makes up nearly 25% of gaming revenue in the U.S., according to the American Gaming Association.