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basketball march madness

This March, take the “Madness” out of Gambling

It’s March and basketball “madness” abounds!  The press reports that over 50 million Americans will wager a collective $8.5 billion on 2019 NCAA Basketball “March Madness” brackets, with almost half of those wagers ($4.6 billion) in illegal bets (office and online pools and other “community settings”).

For most, completing 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 struggles with problems around gambling, there is help and hope.  Call, text or chat for free, 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537), helpmygamblingproblem.org.