INDIANAPOLIS — The rush of potentially cashing in a big cash prize from a sports bet can come with another high cost.
Sports wagering is a multimillion-dollar industry every month in the state of Indiana.
“Maybe $700 million or so going into sports wagering every month,” said Ed Feigenbaum, editor of Indiana Gaming Insight.
And its gaining popularity with younger age groups. Just last month, the NCAA released their findings on sports betting activities among college students.
“I think everybody was surprised by the high rate of prevalence of gambling among the 18-22 demographic,” said Feigenbaum.
It showed two-thirds of men have engaged in sports betting activities, as have 51% of women, mostly ranging between $10 and $20 bets.
“Anywhere between 90 and 95% of the sports wagers in the state are placed on a mobile application,” said Feigenbaum.
Experts say with betting apps so easily accessible more people can easily become addicted.
Sports betting became legal in Indiana in September 2019. Since then, the National Council on Problem Gambling says gambling addiction has grown 30 percent.
“A gambling addiction can be so strong because the payout, if you will, it is not continuous,” said Kimble Richardson, a licensed Mental Health Counselor at Community Health Network.
Richardson said there needs to be more education on the gold rush of winning that prize.
“I think it is too easy to access, and we don’t have enough education and measures in place to alert people that it might be a problem,” said Richardson.
If you or someone you know needs help the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling has resources to help. You can find those here.