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Gambling disorders are becoming more prevalent across the country as sports betting is legalized



Billings, Montana – Now that Super Bowl 58 is here, all bets are open. It is anticipated that a record-breaking 26% of Americans will wager on the big game due to the growing popularity of sports betting. Some health specialists are concerned about the nation’s rising rate of gambling addiction as a result of this rapid development.

There was a lot of excitement in Billings at Shooters Bar and Grill as people like Wyatt Burns and Kevin Curley got ready for the Super Bowl.

“Came to have a beer and a shot, just to kind of loosen up before the festivities begin,” said Burns on Sunday.

It’s safe to assume that these 49ers supporters aren’t merely following the football action.

“Makes the game more enjoyable to watch when you got a little money on the line,” Burns said.

“I bet big” added Curley.

Fortunately, the couple does not belong to the increasing number of individuals who suffer from a gambling addiction.

“Nationwide, as to the prevalence of the number of people that we suspect have a gambling disorder, is about 1% of the population,” said Matt Perdue, medical director for Frontier Psychiatry in Billings.

That’s around 3.4 million Americans, according to Perdue.

“One of the areas of concern is the ease of access with the mobile platforms and those platforms often incentivizing getting started placing bets,” added Perdue.

Addiction starts with compulsive brain changes, just like it does with alcohol or nicotine, and Montanans are not exempt from this.

“Montana’s really followed this nationwide trend over the past couple of years with setting records each and every year for the revenue that they’re collecting from gambling,” Perdue said.

Unsettling Since sports betting was only made legal in 2019, Perdue and other specialists are only able to obtain data from the previous five years.

“I think absolutely it’s an area of concern for us to monitor and really see how things play out,” said Perdue.

Even though he doesn’t always succeed, Burns sees it as an additional means of enjoyment.

“For the most part, I’ve got self control. I’ve had a few losses where I’ve woke up the next morning and said, ah, let’s not do that again,” Burns quipped.


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