Addiction has been a problem in human society for millennia.  We are well aware of alcohol and drug addiction.  Gambling can be addicting and with the advent of casino games online, the possibility of playing too much is real.  That’s why every reputable online casino stands behind public efforts to deal with problem gambling.  They have policies that allow payers to limit the amount they can bet on a given day.  Players can limit themselves in other ways.  Online casinos also flag players who are obviously betting too much and the casinos stop the players before they stop themselves.

Sports Betting

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that the law called PASPA, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, was unconstitutional, states can set up sports betting as they wish.

At least twenty states have either begun the process of licensing and regulating sports betting within their jurisdictions or are floating the idea with constituents about doing so.  Not everyone is thrilled about legalizing sports betting and one reason is that it might become just another attractive activity that people can become addicted to.  Here, we’ll talk about ways not to get addicted to sports betting.

So Many Sports

There is an almost unlimited number of sports that people can bet on.  Jai Alai, dog racing, and horse racing are already legal in some states.  With the legalization of sports betting, people will be able to bet on a huge number of sporting events.  So, the first key to maintaining sports betting as a pleasant pastime without letting it take over is to concentrate your sports betting on no more than two sports.

We might even say that concentrating on only one sport would be better but we’ll accept two sports.

The reason for restricting your sports betting to only two sports is that it’s very hard to keep abreast of news, trends, performances, approaches, and the many subtle differences that can be the difference between a good bet and a poor bet.  We should not consider ourselves expert enough in all sports to place bets on them even if we’re big fans.  Even the biggest fans need to study a lot to be true experts of a sport.

Study

So, we have to actually study a sport to become expert enough to bet on it.  Studying pursuant to betting can become an addiction in and of itself.  We have to read reports of games, reports from practices, injury reports, ad infinitum.  If you bet on NBA basketball, you have to know many subtle tidbits such as how well does one team play against the defense the next opponent uses.

It might not affect the outcome of the game but it might very well affect the outcome of a bet.

Everyone has many things to do other than to study sports for the purpose of betting.  No one is like Ty Cobb who said in a famous interview when he was already an older man that if he could do it all again, “I would have had more friends.”  We recognize the existence of workaholics; we might soon come to recognize studyaholics.

The only way to avoid over-studying is to set strict limits on your reading about a sport or about a game.  It’s never easy to stick with strict limits but people do so every day especially as those limits relate to the person’s overall health.

Watching

Many online sports betting sites also stream dozens of games every day.  One of the easiest addictions to acquire is to watch too much television.  Watching streaming sports on a computer is like watching tv.  On any given day, there will be as many as 15 games in the sport you like to bet on.

If you try to watch all or part of more than one of these games, you’ll have little time for family and friends, not to mention work.

It’s a good idea, no matter which sport you decide to bet on, to concentrate on only a very small number of teams.  To return to the reference to online casino gaming, many observers advise players to concentrate on one or two blackjack variations before expanding their field of expertise in the game.  Texas Hold’em professionals will bet on hands that they themselves tell amateurs to fold.

Nuances are very difficult to master.

The same applies to sports betting: concentrate on one or two sports and within those sports concentrate on just a very few teams.

Thinking

We think about things we enjoy and we think about things we worry about.  There is certainly nothing wrong with thinking about sports or about your latest or your next sports bet if it gives you pleasure.  There is something seriously wrong with thinking a lot about sports if it creates worry and anxiety.

It’s also not healthy to “space out” when at work or with family and friends because your mind drifts off to think about sports.  So, it’s best to keep your sports betting activity down to the point where it remains a fun pastime but doesn’t intrude into the other fun pastimes you partake of or the generally not fun pastime we call work.

Everything in proportion; everything in its own place and time.

Budget

Sports betting will become the supreme betting avenue of analytical thinking.  There is no bluffing in sports betting so you don’t have to learn how to bluff or how to read a bluff.  You don’t have to count cards or memorize strategy cards as in blackjack.

In sports betting, you need learned decisions.  Getting to learned decisions can become an obsession or it can become part of the fun.  Setting a reasonable sports betting budget goes a long way to making getting there fun.

Facing Reality

Sports betting is here.  It will come to a neighborhood close to home very soon.  It’s best to keep the chance to bet on sports in proper measure for the sake of your personal mental well-being.