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Your Best Bet? Knowing the Facts

Let’s Set the Record Straight About Sports Betting


In sports betting, participants make a wager on the outcome of a game or race, winning or losing money in the process. Unlike traditional gambling, sports betting has a unique emotional factor, appealing to the pride and loyalty people feel for their chosen team.

Myths vs. Facts

Myth or fact?

Sports betting is legal throughout the U.S.


This varies state by state, and sports betting is not currently legal in Minnesota. While every state in the U.S. has the option to make it legal, a significant number of states haven’t done so. If you visit a state where sports betting is legal and choose to participate, be sure to research which types of wagering are permitted, since not all legislation is the same.

Myth or fact?

Illegal online sports betting isn’t a big deal.


No matter what you might hear about unauthorized sites, using them can put your personal and financial information at risk, on top of causing you legal trouble. These sites aren’t monitored or held to regular standards, meaning your social security number or credit card information could be stolen and sold. Since these sites are illegal, there’s no protection or support available once this happens.

Myth or fact?

It’s easier to win with sports betting than it is with traditional gambling.


A certain team may be in a winning streak or have a seemingly reliable track record, but the outcome of a game is always unpredictable. This is what makes sporting events entertaining. There’s no way to guarantee the likelihood of winning will be higher with sports gambling than with traditional gambling — it’s easy to lose money doing either one.

Myth or fact?

Sports betting isn’t the same as gambling.


While sports betting isn’t always done in a casino, it’s still a form of gambling since it involves risking money with a high chance of losing. As much as someone placing a bet might believe in a certain team, there’s no way to control how they’ll play.

Myth or fact?

There’s no risk of problem gambling with sports betting.


Like any type of gambling, sports betting can become compulsive. If playing in a state where it’s legal, it’s important to set a spending limit that won’t affect financial stability. If betting behavior becomes frequent, out of control, or causes financial strain, problem gambling resources and support can help stop the pattern.

Myth or fact?

Sports betting can be done responsibly.


In states where sports betting is legal, it can be done both recreationally and responsibily. The key to responsible betting is to budget for an amount of money you’re prepared to lose before getting started. If you lose that amount, accept the loss and walk away rather than trying to win your money back. Understanding the type of bet of you’re doing, playing with other people, and sticking to legal platforms are also essential for smart, safe sports betting.

Myth or fact?

Sports betting is rising in popularity.


In states where sports betting is legal, it’s often a social activity enjoyed among sports fans as a form of camaraderie and friendly rivalry. Playing on ocassion with close friends or family members is a way to remain open and accountable about your betting behavior while keeping things casual and fun.

Risks and Prevention

With sports betting and other types of gambling, there’s always a chance of developing a problem. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, education level or financial status.

A young woman wearing a sports jersey appearing disappointed looks at her phone

Signs of problem gambling with sports betting can range from discreet to obvious.

These signs include skipping school or work and avoiding family or friends to wager, often for long periods of time. Using money reserved for necessities to place wagers or lying to people to hide betting behavior are also concerns to watch out for. Believing a win is just around the corner and will make up for lost money, constantly thinking about wagering, or feeling a sense of relief while placing bets are also signals of a potential problem.

The good news is that being aware of these risks can help prevent and identify them.

Sports gambling in Minnesota isn’t legal, but if you plan to do it in another state, make a careful plan with strategies you can stick to. Always be prepared to lose the money you wager, and don’t ask to borrow money from anyone for a bet. Treat sports betting like a fun social event that can be done on ocassion rather than a chance to make money.

A group of young men at a bar crowd around a mobile tablet and watch something excitedly

Upcoming Sporting Events: What to Know

Super Bowl LVI, February 13

Each year, the Super Bowl draws viewers from around the country — more than a third of the nation watched in 2021. Not surprisingly, it’s also highly popular for sports betting, with more than 23 million Americans wagering on the 2021 game.

Ads with bonus offers and free entries can tempt people to place bets during the Super Bowl. But what’s not highlighted is the significant risk of losing what you wager. In 2021, people who placed bets in Nevada lost over $12 million from the Super Bowl, a reminder that money can disappear quickly.

March Madness logo

March Madness, March 15-April 4

This year’s NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, or March Madness, will take place over several weeks in cities all around the country, leading up to a championship game April 4. This series captivates sports fans and people loyal to a certain college, and some predict game results with sports brackets for entertainment.

People placing money on brackets in states where it’s legal to do so have extremely limited odds of perfect accuracy. Those who are somewhat familiar with basketball have a one in 120.2 billion chance, and for people making a guess, the odds are far slimmer at one in 9.2 quintillion.

In 2021, an estimated 47 million Americans placed bets during March Madness, and millions will likely do so again this year. With the momentum of many games happening one after the other, it’s easy to bet more than planned and lose money in the process. The tournament also takes place shortly after the Super Bowl, enticing some to try to earn back losses with excessive wagering.

These risks can affect anyone. Sticking to legal forms of gambling, setting limits on spending and keeping other people in the loop can help prevent problem gambling with sports betting.