Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Human Cost of the Sports-Betting Boom

The Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018, quickly resulting in 38 states plus Wahsington D.C. jumping at the chance to increase tax revenue. Sports betting has since rocketed into an annual $7.5 billion industry. Men's Health surveyed 1,500 American men of whom placed bets in the last 12 months:

  • 61% bet either daily or weekly
  • 58% say sports betting has affected their mental health
  • 44% say it's difficult to watch a game without feeling the urge to bet
  • 20% say it’s destroying their life
  • 20% spend 25% of their paycheck on sports betting
  • Millennials bet more frequently than any other age group

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the US is experiencing the largest and fastest expansion of gambling in our nation’s history. According to the NCPG, "As sports betting becomes more and more accessible, the number of people who are likely to develop a gambling addiction will continue to increase.”

Addicted problem-gamblers inevitably face job and home loss, damaged relationships, suicidal thoughts, and legal issues. The average debt accrued is between $55,000 and $90,000. According to Timothy Fong, M.D., codirector of the UCLA gambling-studies program:

There’s a state of gambling withdrawal just like opiate withdrawal or alcohol withdrawal. When you’re not able to gamble or participate in gambling, your body and your brain react to it. It goes through sleeplessness, changes in appetite, sadness, depression, and anxiety.

Delusion and pride cause many gamblers to fall into the snare. Sports bettors specifically often have higher education and income levels. Many perceive the results of their gambling as being determined by their skills and knowledge rather than chance and luck, overestimating their ability to win. This is known as the delusion of expertise and can accelerate … the development of a gambling addiction.

Keith Whyte, executive director of the NCPG, notes that: “We call [gambling addiction] the hidden addiction. There are few, if any, outward physical signs, and it makes it a lot harder to track and detect.”

Related Sermon Illustrations

It’s Time to Get Rid of The Lottery

Writer Leah Muncy recalls one of her earliest memories is of her mother buying a lottery ticket at the supermarket. “When I was young, my mother was always talking about the ...

[Read More]

40% of Bettors Have Never Been in a Casino

Is a trip to Las Vegas becoming a thing of the past? A recent survey finds 4 in 10 gamblers have never actually set foot in a casino. A spokesperson for Online Betting Guide said, ...

[Read More]