Responsible Gambling

Sports betting, like all kinds of gambling, is best experienced as entertainment. However, some people unfortunately lose control and veer from entertainment into problem gambling and suffer serious negative consequences. Often their families suffer as a result as well. Problem gambling is also known as compulsive gambling and pathological gambling.

The prevalence rate of problem gambling in adults in the United States is somewhere between 2.2% and 2.6% percent of the population, while approximately 1% of the adult U.S population has a “severe” gambling problem, according to figures from the National Council on Problem Gambling, National Center for Responsible Gaming and the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction. Statistically, younger people and young adults are impacted at a higher rate than other groups.

Regulated gaming — and pertinent here — regulated sports betting, is safer than gambling occurring in unchecked/unregulated markets. State regulators require licensed operators to devote certain resources to problem gambling and take greater measures to prevent customers from engaging in potentially damaging behavior. Of course, compulsive gambling manifests in any market, legal or otherwise.

The remainder of this page is a guide to problem gambling resources for those who believes (or know) they have a problem, or for a person who believes a friend or loved one may have a problem. The page includes help numbers, links to problem gambling forums, and articles with doctors and addiction experts, explaining behavior indicating a problem and treatments.

Problem gambling test

The following problem gambling test was developed by Mindway AI and uses neuroscientific principles to assess your play and measure whether you may be at risk of developing a gambling addiction.

Problem gambling tools: setting limits

All legal, regulated online sportsbooks are required to provide users with access to responsible gaming tools and information. While rules and regulations vary from state to state, here are some of the measures that licensed sportsbooks in your area will offer to help prevent addiction, or stop it from progressing. Consult directly with your sportsbook of choice for a full list, or you can inquire with the regulatory body that oversees sports wagering in your state about which of these options, or others, are available:

Deposit limits

Deposit limits restrict the amount of money that a person may deposit into an account over a certain period. Deposit limits can be set up weekly, monthly, yearly, etc., and help by setting a stop-loss.

Wager limits

Limits the amount of money you may wager in one day, or month, or year. If you are concerned about placing wagers that are too large, or placing wagers too often, setting a limit will ultimately restrict you from exceeding the set amount.

Session time limits

Session time limits are more common with online casinos, but can apply for sports betting as well. A time limit restricts the amount of time that you can be logged in to your betting account or app. If you find yourself constantly checking lines and bets, a time limit can keep this in check.

For casino players time limitations are more common. Whether the player is winning or losing, the compulsion to stay and play can be strong. A time limit takes that decision out of the players hands.

Account cool-off

This option allows you to block access to your account for a specified amount of time, giving you an opportunity to step away and perhaps seek help.

Loss limits

Similar to wager limits, this option allows the bettor to set a cap on potential losses over a fixed period of time. If you don’t want to lose more than $100 per month, you can set that up, specifically.


You elect to have the state prohibit you from engaging in any online or in-person gambling activities. The state will take down your name and information. The way it works in New Jersey is: For Internet gaming activities, the gaming board will distribute information filed through your player account or provided on your self-exclusion application for Internet gaming to each casino licensed Internet gaming permit holder.

If you are self excluded, you will not be able to gamble, bet, or partake in any sort of gaming activity over the internet within the designated jurisdiction.

National help numbers and resources

  • Visit the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) for more information about problem gambling and treatment in your state.
    • Call the NCPG: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national helpline)
    • Text the NCPG: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national text service)
    • Chat with the NCPG: (24-hour confidential national chat service)
  • Gamblers Anonymous ( – A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. Gamblers anonymous is judgement free.
  • Gam-Anon ( – A self-help organization for the spouse, family or close friends of compulsive gamblers.
  • GamTalk ( – A 24/7 moderated online peer support forum.
  • Reddit’s problem gambling forum

State specific responsible gambling resources

District of Columbia1-800-522-4700
Indiana800-994-8448 or 866-699-4274
Kentucky800-426-2537 and
Massachusetts1-800-522-4700 and
New Hampshire603-724-1605
New Jersey1-800-246-2537
New Mexico888-696-2440
New York877-846-7369
North Carolina1-800-522-4700
North Dakota1-800-522-4700
Rhode Island877-942-6253
South Carolina1-800-522-4700
South Dakota1-800-522-4700
Virginia1-800-522-4700 Self-Exclusion
West Virginia1-800-522-4700

Responsible gaming articles on Sports Handle

Nick Chappell

Nick Chappell

Nick began working in the iGaming industry in 2009 and has been an active member of the community since. He is a regular contributor for a number of publications including the USBets Network, RotoGrinders, and ScoresAndOdds.

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