Hamilton, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/08/2018 -- Soon, millions of basketball fans across the country will enjoy the annual tournament known as March Madness. Every year, 68 NCAA teams compete for the national championship. Many of these fans will also participate in the popular betting activities that accompany this phenomenon. These activities may pose some challenges to those struggling with disordered gambling and alcohol dependency or "addiction" in Monmouth County and the surrounding areas. With that in mind, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) warns of the risks of disordered gambling and advises people to gamble responsibly.
In 2017, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimated that Americans wagered over $10.4 billion on March Madness. Most of this money went towards betting pools or brackets, where participants predict the outcome of each game in a tournament. Because many workplaces and social circles take part in these pools, these activities carry a strong social impetus that might prove dangerous for people that may struggle with problem gambling.
Besides the possible social pressures, disordered gamblers may also struggle with betting activities related to March Madness due to their increasing accessibility. The number of illegal sports betting sites and apps increases exponentially every year, making it easier for people to gamble from their mobile device or the comfort of their home. This convenience can sometimes facilitate disordered behavior.
"The Council believes that gambling can be enjoyed responsibly," said Neva Pryor, Executive Director of the CCGNJ. "However, one should be aware of the risks that may be involved. Awareness is key."
To learn warning signs that may indicate issues with gambling and mental health, Freehold residents and anyone else that lives in New Jersey can visit the CCGNJ's website, https://800gambler.org/. For support, treatment, and hope, call the organization's confidential hotline, 1-800-GAMBLER.
About The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to helping individuals seek help for their disordered gambling problem, and for concerned friends and loved ones to confidentially express their concerns about someone close to them. Their 24/7 hotline is 800-GAMBLER. The Council also works to train professionals in the fields of gambling addiction and recovery.