GRIT Act: Super Bowl 58 Sparks Calls For Federal Problem Gambling Funding To Fuel Responsible Betting

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Super Bowl problem gambling

Let’s face it. With the rise of legal sports betting, Super Bowl gambling has evolved into a casual activity. Roughly 30% of Americans are expected to wager on the Big Game. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially with Taylor Swift entering the fold. However, cases of Super Bowl problem gambling will inevitably arise with an abundance of cash flowing into sportsbooks.

The NFL partnered with the National Council on Problem Gambling in October 2021 for the sole purpose of providing financial support to prevent gambling addiction. Below are the best practices before and during the Super Bowl 58 — with help from industry experts.

Super Bowl Problem Gambling Explained

Betting markets have increased for 49ers vs. Chiefs odds, supplying sportsbook users with more alluring opportunities to gamble during the Super Bowl. Hence, there’s an even greater risk of succumbing to a gambling addiction.

For instance, operators are offering odds on the result of the next play or drive. These types of markets are a part of the recent micro-betting “trend,” combining live betting with prop betting. That said, it could potentially lead to one of the triggers within problem gambling, otherwise known as chasing. This concept revolves around quickly aiming to recover from a gambling loss.

Let’s say a sportsbook user placed a $1,000 wager on the Chiefs to cover the first-half spread, but the 49ers end up leading after the game’s first 30 minutes. Chasing may trigger this person to put $2,000 on Kansas City to win the second half. Whether or not the second bet wins, the likelihood is that a bettor who participates to this degree will spiral again.

“Sport bettors who have had a losing season may often increase their bets and chase their losses in a last ditch effort to get even on the Super Bowl,” Keith Whyte, the NCPG executive director, said. “One story that stands out is the guy who left his own Super Bowl party because he was sweating big bets, and he was so stressed out he couldn’t stand to be around people who were actually enjoying the game.”

Promoting Responsible Gambling

The phrase, “only bet what you can afford to lose,” is heavily noted in the sports betting realm. There’s no better time to utilize this notion for yourself than this weekend. While price shopping is often necessary to obtain closing line value (CLV), remember to resist the urge to deposit a substantial amount of money into multiple sportsbooks if it isn’t within your means.

“We advocate for legislators and regulators to ensure stringent responsible gambling requirements are put into place,” Whyte said. “We advocate for legislation like the GRIT (gambling addiction, recovery, invesment, and treatment) Act to provide federal funding for problem gambling research…”

If passed, the GRIT Act would prompt the first-ever federal funding stream to help tackle problem gambling in the country. Its premise is geared toward returning 50% of the funds from an excise tax, which is collected from sports betting streams before being handed off to the states through the Substance Use Block Grant (SUBG). Moreover, it would help generate a federally managed research grant fund.

Nevada would benefit significantly from the act’s possible approval, considering the inordinate indent that problem gambling has created for its residents — relative to other states.

Think You May Have A Gambling Problem?

If you or anyone else struggles with Super Bowl problem gambling, don’t hesitate to call the National Problem Gambling Helpline. It’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-GAMBLER.

You can also visit ncpgambling.org/chat. If you’re worried you may have a gambling problem but aren’t sure how serious it is, the NCPG has a 10-question quiz you can take to assess your situation.

“Our top recommendation is that every sports bettor should utilize the tools in their betting app to set limits of time and money,” Whyte said. “These tools are like seat belts in cars — they are designed for everyone to use and to keep everyone safe.”

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