BANGOR – The Madness has begun, as people around Bangor are turning their attention to their televisions for the NCAA basketball tournament.
“It’s pretty exciting,” says Quinn Paradis, owner of Hero’s Sports Grill. “Just like yesterday, a couple of games went in to overtime, double overtime and you see a big upset and people like to see that, that’s part of March Madness.”
But while many are focused on the madness, others are focused on the money.
“Sports gambling, which is really only one type of gambling is really prevalent at high points of the year, Super Bowl season, March Madness.” says Heath Myers, Public Health Educator at Bangor Public Heath and Community Services.
The rise of numerous tournament challenges have led to millions of people shelling out money.
Americans will bet over nine billion dollars in March Madness office pools this year, which is trice the $4.2 billion wagered on the Superbowl according to the Fiscal Times.
That’s a large representation of U.S. citizens collectively.
For people with a serious gambling addiction, it could be nearly all their money, and more.
“What you’re likely to see is folks that are going to potentially spend every last penny they have, and then go further than that and try to find other sources of money,” says Myers.
Making it all the more important, to stay in control.
“Make a plan, and stick to that plan,” he says. “And the other really important part of that is to make sure you are gambling with money that you already have.”
Bangor Health and Public Services will be passing out napkins to local restaurants in the coming weeks that have messages to remind March Madness viewers about responsible betting.
If you or someone you know needs help related to a problem gambling, you can dial 2-1-1 or visit www.211.org.