Record Super Bowl Bets Likely; Addiction Among Young Men Issue: Expert

GARDEN CITY, NY — The ratings are expected to be a bonanza for CBS this weekend, but the Super Bowl could also set a record for gamblers.

More than 67 million Americans place $23 billion bets on the Big Game, the Guardian reported.

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That many people putting down that much cash is problematic as sports betting is legal in New York.

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“Every kid has a casino in their back pocket,” said Jeffrey Reynolds, President and Chief Executive Officer of Family and Children’s Association in Garden City. “You take a developing brain for a young person under the age of 25 and you mix it with a sense of invisibility that young people think they’ve got an edge.”

Reynolds is adding gambling support services at two of their addiction facilities in Hicksville and Hempstead.

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“More and more folks coming to us where gambling isn’t their presenting problem,” he said. “They show up at our clinics with drug and alcohol issues or mental health issues. Then, as we dig a little deeper we come to understand that gambling is a big part of their lives.”

While Reynolds said problem gambling is not pervasive, those who go down that road “do a lot of damage,” with suicide as a worst-case scenario. Reynolds, an addiction expert, said, an estimated 1 percent of people have severe gambling issues, while another 2-3 percent have moderate-level problems “heading in the wrong direction.”

Reynolds criticizes the state for not providing enough for gambling addiction resources, despite paying large amounts for sports betting.

“The state needs to be more aware of the issues that are going on, needs to fund more of these centers,” he said.

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