It was recently brought to my attention that March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.  

I don’t consider myself to have gambling issues. My gambling history is small.

  • I join a March Madness pool with a $1 entry fee every year.  
  • I bought ten boxes on a board for the Super Bowl this year (total cost of $20).
  • My golf buddies and I wagered lunch on the last nine holes on a recent golf trip. I won. My winning was a burger at Phil’s Grill. It was a triple win. It’s the best burger in Scottsdale, and the guy who lost the bet hates Lefty.  
  • I play fantasy football. Some consider this gambling. I consider it to be taking money (stealing) from friends and coworkers.

Lastly, when the Power Ball exceeded $1 billion, my family pooled $100 and dreamed about what we would do with the winnings. You can do this for free, but it’s heartfelt you don’t get the tickets. 

  • Nobody won the grand prize, so we rolled our $12 forward to the next drawing. Nobody won that drawing, so we rolled our $8 forward to the final drawing of nearly $2 billion. Finally, somebody won. We cashed out our $8.  
  • A coworker wanted to bet me on the Vikings playoff game. I turned him down. Telling him I don’t like to put my money into the hands of things I don’t have at least some control of.  

According to American Gaming Association (AGA), more than 50 million people bet about $16 billion on this year’s Super Bowl. A google search for information on Super Bowl gambling led me to a site to place bets on next year’s Super Bowl. (Here’s a tip, the Vikings will win.)

The AGA says 45 million people wagered $3.1 billion on the 2022 March Madness tournament. 

WebMD says the signs of a gambling problem include the following.

  1. lying about your habits
  2. wagering more than you can afford and emotional side effects.  
  3. Borrowing or stealing money to gamble, 
  4. gambling until all your money is gone 
  5. attempting to recover losses with more gambling.  

Gambling addicts often deny they have a problem, but friends and family take notice of the issue.  

In construction, you often hear, “I’m a contractor. I gamble daily, so I don’t need any more gambling in my life.” It is a fun line, but sadly, I know plenty of people in our business who have destroyed their lives and families through gambling.  

Gambling is becoming legal in more places every day. Gas stations are becoming mini-casinos. The advertisements are hard to avoid on TV. The NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA are all pushing us towards betting on their games. 

Sports networks are as likely to give you betting information as they are to provide you with game scores.  

If you think you or somebody you know has a gambling issue, I encourage you to contact the national hotline (800) 522-4700 or  

If you live in Lincoln, Nebraska, I suggest contacting Choices Treatment Center