College basketball betting wagers continue to soar

Addiction hotline calls are also on the rise
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:23 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The American Gaming Association said 45 million people wagered $3.1 billion on last year’s college basketball tournaments this month.

They expect that amount to be five times higher for this year’s tournaments in March alone.

The state gaming board says Par-A-Dice Casino brought in $400,000 in wagers on college sports in March 2021. That number jumped to $15 million one year later.

The Illinois Council On Problem Gambling claimed that’s mostly because of online betting.

“The real crux of it though is our phones,” said Executive Director Bill Johnson. “That a person can sit on the couch or be driving down the road and hit that button to place a bet on if the next batter for the Cubs going to get a single, or a double or a triple.”

Bill Johnson also said 383,000 Illinoisans have a gambling disorder. Studies have shown young adult males are most at risk for betting addiction.

DraftKings said they recognize the risks.

“We’re aware there’s a gambling problem out there,” said Sports Operations Director Johnny Avello. “We put a lot of money behind that to help those people that are in need. The staff is trained to look for certain red flags. “When we do see those, we act on them.”

DraftKings said they address sports betting addictions by limiting the number of wagers and parlays bettors can submit.

If you know someone who has struggled with gambling addiction, you are encouraged to call 1-800-GAMBLER.