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Place Super Bowl bets with care, experts warn - WPTA21

30th January, 23:30

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- This weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs will meet the San Fransico 49ers in the Super Bowl, and for the first time people here in the Hoosier state will be able to bet on it legally.

A local sports betting pub expects a huge crowd while gambling addiction experts say the big game could be a tipping point for people on the edge.

Because sports betting has been legal in Indiana for less than a year, this Sunday will be the first time that Winner's Circle Race Sports Pub in New Haven will host a Super Bowl event.

Expecting it to be standing room only, the Pub has been taking bets on the big game for more than a week.

But there's more to wager on than the final score.

"You can bet on the coin flip, how long the national anthem will last. Will it last 2:50, go over three minutes? You can bet on how many yards a certain player will rush for," Winner's Circle's Phil Gustin says.

The list goes on and on.

In fact, Winner's Circle has a packet eight pages long that lists just some of the prop bets availble for people to put their money on.

Joe Youngblood admits he usually loses on his sports bets, but wanted to place his wager ahead of the big day, saying it makes watching the game more interesting.

"I'm going to bet on the Chiefs. I'm taking care of Pat Mahomes. And then I might bet on some prop bets like the coin toss or some goofy stuff," he says.

However, for an estimated two million Americans, gambling isn't fun, it's an addiction.

"We gamble because we want to make the big bucks," therapist Ron Nicolet says.

Nicolet treats people with gambling addictions and says they're similar to people addicted to drugs and alcohol.

He says with the Super Bowl, problem gamblers get too easily caught up in the drama of the game and all the side bets available.

"As the Super Bowl, it's a big thing. And when people have so easy access to that big thing, that big potential win, they're going to jump at it," he says.

He says warning signs range from money disappearing, to no accountability for it, to someone spending too much time on the phone or at a sports betting place.

Experts say enjoy the game, but don't get too carried away, and don't bet more than you can afford to lose.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, confidential help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Call or text the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

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