Super Bowl 49 brings the NFL’s largest game to lime light with headlines of a Patriots cheating scandal that sounds all too familiar. Another year of allegations that coach Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were looking for way to edge the competition in what is being termed “deflategate.” Deflating the football gives the running back a better grip so as not to fumble the ball and the receivers an easier time to squeeze the ball for a catch, especially in bad weather when the ball is slippery. Just as the Patriots are under constant scrutiny for looking for a leg up, gamblers look for any and all ways to get a let up in betting. Some resort to prop bets, bets on crazy things like, how long will the national anthem take, who will score first, will the announcers say a key word, like deflategate. Most of the avenues gamblers take, wont be legal. An online source explains just how much illegal gambling is estimated:
Americans will illegally wager 38 times more money on this year’s Super Bowl than they will legally in Nevada, the only state with full-fledged sports betting, according to a projection from a casino industry trade group.
American Gaming Association President Geoff Freeman told a gathering of mayors in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that his organization expects the Super Bowl to elicit $3.8 billion in illegal wagers compared with Nevada’s legal $100 million.
As startling as those numbers are to read, they only represent our country. Last year the total gambling total on the Super Bowl was estimated at over $10 billion. Many view this as harmless fun, but the reality is quite different. The Morning Sentinel article reported that Guy Cousins, acting director of Maine Office of Substance Abuse, estimates that 3 to 5 percent of those who participate in wagering will become problem gamblers. Another expert mentioned, Lee Thompson, president of the Maine Council on Problem Gambling explained, “We’ve seen an increase in the calls from Maine to the Nation Council on Problem Gambling hotline, from eight calls a month in 2003 to over 100 a month in 2006.”
It appears that the glitzy glam of the Super Bowl attracts people to make social wagers, a harmless bit of fun in their mind. But the dollar amount waged on the Super Bowl climbs each year, as does the number of problem gamblers.
For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION