Sports Wagering In Maryland Increases The Number Of Problem Gamblers

They’re urged to get help for their gambling addiction.

Baltimore, Md (KM) Since sports wagering became legal in Maryland, there’s been an increase in the number of people with problem gambling. “Recently, we have seen–due to sports gambling going on line and mobile–we’re starting to see an increase in calls and texts predominantly regarding sports gambling coming from those between 18 and 34,” says Mary Drexler, the Director of the Maryland Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling, which is part of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

She says problems with gambling, especially connected with sports wagering, went up during the period leading to the Super Bowl in January into early February, and during the NCAA Basketball Tournament in March.

But Drexler says other forms of gambling are still causing problems for some people. “We still see a number of calls that relate Lottery, especially the instant tickets,”: she says. “We also definitely see casino games. Slots are the highest followed by blackjack,”: says Drexler.

One sign of problem gamblers is they are always thinking about placing bets. “They do lie a lot about where they are. So to family and friends, they may be saying they’re one place when they’re actually at the casino,” says Drexler.

One of the signs of  problem  gamblers is they’re always  chasing  after their losses. “You get a big win, and then all of a sudden you think ‘Oh wow, I’m really lucky.’ And what is happens is they chase those losses,  and they no only lose what they won, they lose even more, and they find themselves in more and more financial devastation,” says Drexler.

And all of this can create a rift between  problem gamblers and their family and friends. Also, they’re “could be problems at the job. They could lose their job because of they’re constantly about thinking about going to the casinos or doing on line betting,”: Drexler says.

There are resources to help problem gamblers get passed their addiction, but Drexler says they first must admit they have a problems. “And oftentimes it takes them a long time before they actually reach out for help. That’s why we’re trying to get the message out  more and more that even if you think you might be at risk, you really need to reach out. We can help you with the gambling problem,” says Drexler.

Problem gamblers who want help can start by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, or go to, or

Drexler says help available free of charge. She says a special fund has been set up to pay for counseling and other services. You can contact the Maryland Center for Excellence on Problem Gambling at for more information.

By Kevin McManus