Super Bowl 58 has arrived and all bets are on. With the rise in popularity of sports betting, a record-breaking 26% of Americans are expected to bet on the big game. That meteoric rise has contributed to a rise in gambling addiction across the nation, concerning some health professionals.
Montanans aren’t immune to this trend as gambling revenue in the state continues to set records year after year. One such establishment brimming with excitement for the Super Bowl is Shooters Bar and Grill in Billings, where Wyatt Burns and Kevin Curley were preparing for the festivities.
“Came to have a beer and a shot, just to kind of loosen up before the festivities begin,” said Burns on Sunday.
“Makes the game more enjoyable to watch when you got a little money on the line,” added Curley. Luckily, these two individuals weren’t part of that growing number of people experiencing an addiction to gambling. According to Matt Perdue, medical director for Frontier Psychiatry in Billings, about 1% of the population or around 3.4 million Americans suffer from gambling addiction nationwide.
One area of concern for Perdue is the ease of access with mobile platforms which often incentivize getting started placing bets. With sports betting only legalized in 2019, experts like Perdue can only glean data from the past five years. However, he believes it’s an area of concern that needs monitoring as things continue to unfold.