Experts warn: Increased risk of addiction when betting on the World Cup
According to experts, around half a million people in Germany are affected by gambling addiction. Addiction is considered a mental disorder. The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) now warns that the potential for addiction is significantly increased during the World Cup.
Half a million Germans are affected by gambling addiction
Experts repeatedly warn of the great risk of addiction to gambling. According to an older study on pathological gambling and epidemiology (PAGE), around 500,000 people in Germany are affected by gambling addiction. Tens of thousands of people are at risk. The Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) is now pointing to an increased addiction potential through sports betting for the World Cup.
Sports betting especially attractive for young men
As it says in a communication, new results of the representative survey of the BZgA "Gambling Behavior and Gambling Addiction in Germany 2017" show that around 1.4 million people in Germany have bet on a sporting event within the past twelve months.
Sports betting is particularly attractive for young men. According to the information, 5.7 percent of 16- to 25-year-olds had experience with sports betting in the mentioned period.
Around 20 percent of them put money on sporting events at least every week.
Risk of financial ruin
Many soccer fans think they know who will be the 2018 soccer world champion. So the attraction of betting on it is great.
The BZgA points out that sports betting can be associated with a high risk of developing addiction.
So-called live bets are particularly critical - especially the event bet, in which money can be placed on certain events during a game.
"Players need to know that online sports betting has been banned in Germany to date," explains the federal government's drug commissioner, Marlene Mortler.
“That means: no legal certainty - nobody can guarantee that you will get the profit you won. In addition, sports betting has a high addictive potential, can drive people into financial ruin and bring families apart, ”said the expert.
Exit depends on chance
“In the BZgA survey, seven percent of those surveyed stated that they had ever participated in sports betting in their lives. This corresponds to around four million people, ”emphasizes Dr. Heidrun Thaiss, head of the BZgA.
“The hope of winning big leads to the fact that the game is played out of control and the risks are underestimated. If you bet, you put your money on the team that you think has the best chance of winning, ”says Dr. Thai.
“But sports betting is a game of chance and its outcome depends on chance. Experiences through active participation in sports or years of passion for football also do not help to win. It is particularly problematic that sports betting is offered online around the clock and is therefore easily and constantly available. "
The BZgA conducts representative surveys on gambling behavior and gambling addiction in Germany every two years. For the current study, 11,500 people between the ages of 16 and 70 were surveyed nationwide from April to July 2017.
According to the results of the survey, 326,000 people in Germany are currently considered to be problematic and 180,000 to be pathological. The consequences of gambling addiction can be serious. They range from family problems to complete over-indebtedness. (ad)