The next two weeks are going to be a time of torture for recovering gambling addicts.
The Super Bowl, to the compulsive gambler, is like New Year’s to the alcoholic.
The NFL Championship Game is the most gambled single event of the year, every year. And it’s surrounded by hype.
“It’s in the commercials, it’s on TV…everywhere you look, people are wearing different colors, people are talking about it. It’s huge.”
And, unavoidable, says Janet Miller, Executive Director of the Louisiana Association On Compulsive Gambling.
“So they’re having to see all this. And it can be extremely difficult for them to look away, to not pay attention, to not hear all this talk and all the visual stuff with it.”
She says it’s a stressful time, not only for the compulsive gambler, but for those close to them, as well.
“You get family members that are probably getting stressed out, that this could trip up their recovering gambler,” says Miller.
“Maybe they’ve done well to stay away from gambling over the holidays and different activities and getting involved with family…but now, will they be able to get through the Super Bowl?”
Miller says family and friends should keep an eye on anyone they know with a gambling problem, and ask them how they’re doing from time to time.
“Checking in with them and asking them how they’re doing at different intervals and paying attention to their body language…if they seem stressed or they seem, what I call ‘in the zone’…being really hyper-focused.”
And, come Super Sunday, she suggests a kind of ‘tough love’ for those with a gambling problem…stay away from it!
“Generally I wouldn’t recommend a gambler to watch this sports event. Especially if sport gambling and wagering has been a problem for them in the past.”
She says even game day is dangerous…with online gambling just a mouse click away.
Free gambling addiction treatment is available for Louisiana residents. They can call 1-800-Gambler. Referrals and services are also available for family members.
Don Ames Reporting for WWL.com News-Talk-Sports Radio