But now there’s a new threat: fantasy sports.
What was once a fun game to play with coworkers has become an unregulated, multi-billion dollar industry – and people are addicted.
The New York Times recently reported that recovering gambling addicts are falling back into betting because of fantasy games at their office and with friends. It doesn’t feel like gambling, and it’s branded as “entertainment,” so they get involved thinking of it as innocent fun.
Instead, many people have lost thousands of dollars on fantasy sports sites. And these sites aren’t going anywhere: they’re making billions. You can see their ads all over TV, and companies like FanDuel and DraftKings have become household names.
So what can we do?
1) First, we should remember these sites can be very addictive to some people. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to encourage our friends and coworkers to join our fantasy football league, especially if we have reason to think they enjoy gambling or struggle with other addictions.
2) Secondly, fantasy sports companies should have options for anyone trying to quit gambling, including a permanent opt-out option and the chance to put your winnings toward a treatment program. Gambling addiction can take everything from people. I’ve seen it. Anyone doing the hard work of trying to recover should get all the help they need, rather than more promotions encouraging them to bet more money, which is what the New York Times reports is happening instead.
3) Lastly, if you’re in a lot of debt because of fantasy sports, we’re here for you. We’ve worked with people who, because of gambling debts, have borrowed money from family and friends, overloaded their credit cards, and gotten way behind on important bills.
If that’s you, there’s a way out — no judgement, just help.
Contact our Memphis firm today to get out of debt. The conversation is free.