It’s March and basketball “madness” abounds!  It’s known that more and more states are discussing and passing sports legislation. The American Gambling Association AGA, estimated that over 50 million Americans will bet over 10 billion combined on March Madness 2023 – with an increasingly larger share going towards legal US online sports books and casinos.

For most, competing and “betting” on tournament brackets is a fun, competitive group activity. But for some, “March Madness” may be part of a more problematic approach to gambling.

Gambling should never be viewed as a solution to financial problems and for making up for past losses. Problem gambling is not just an individual problem, but can disrupt friendships, family relationships, and life. Here are a few tips to take the madness out of March Tournaments:

  • Only gamble what you can afford to lose – set a dollar limit to the amount of money you bet and stay within that budget
  • View tournament pools as a form of entertainment – do not chase past gambling losses or view tournament pools as a way to make money
  • Limit alcohol use when gambling
  • Participate as part of a fun group activity – avoid gambling when you are alone or depressed
If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling and other addictive behaviors, call or text the free, confidential Maryland Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) to be connected to helpful resources, including Peer Recovery Support. Or visit