91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Problem-gambling experts recommend caution ahead of Lions playoff game

"Many Detroiters were leaving money on the table," said Priscilla Perkins, the President and CEO of the Accounting Aid Society.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
"Many Detroiters were leaving money on the table," said Priscilla Perkins, the President and CEO of the Accounting Aid Society.

The Detroit Lions will play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the NFC Title game for a spot in the Super Bowl. Problem-gambling experts are urging caution for those planning to gamble.

Bets are expected to pour in around the country ahead of the matchup. Johnny Avello is the director of race and sports operations at the sports betting company DraftKings.

“I expect we'll have a good response from all states,” he said of the expected volume of bets. “In your particular state of Michigan, I would expect the same, but the balance may be a little skewed there.”

“I would think that a high percentage of those bets are going to be on the Lions,” Avello said, adding that he was expecting “an abundance of bets on the Detroit money line.”

Advertising for betting, both year-round and ahead of big games, can be triggering for those who struggle with problem gambling, said Michael Burke, the executive director of the Michigan Association on Problem Gambling.

“I've talked to many people who just have to turn the TV off today because of all the betting information that's on the screen — information that they used to use and enjoy and it's now turned against them,” Burke said.

He said bettors can develop problematic habits by chasing wins after tough losses. “When they start to lose a bet, they're going to find themselves in situations where they're losing it a lot faster than they had won it,” he said.

Burke said bettors should be responsible and avoid betting more than they can afford to lose or more than they would spend on a fun outing. “The best way is to always set limits,” he said. “If you want to bet a small amount on a football game or a baseball game or any sporting event, as long as you set a limit and you stay in it."

Avello said that DraftKings spends millions of dollars on promoting responsible gaming. “We have deposit limits. We have betting limits. A customer can restrict themselves from betting entirely,” Avello said. “It's something that we're really aware of and put a lot of time and effort into.”

“I guess the one message to get out to people, you're not going to get wealthy gambling,” Burke said. “Just be careful about what you can afford and when you're done, be done.”

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
Related Content