College basketball fans may be in heaven now that the N-C-double-A tournament is underway, but for some people, the annual hoops competition brings irresistible temptations. “Eddie” is a volunteer at Gamblers Anonymous and is one of the counselors taking calls from people for whom “March Madness” is maddening.
Eddie says he started with sports betting on football and eventually got into betting on baseball, then basketball and “everything else you can think of.” He says he came to the conclusion he’d never win because he’d never stop betting.
Eddie says plenty of “normal” people bet on games, but it’s hard to define “normal.” He says “normal” is someone who can spend ten-dollars on the whole tournament and thinks nothing of it and it doesn’t take over their lives, seeking the adrenaline high.
Eddie says admitting you have a problem is the first step toward confronting any addiction. He says gamblers can reach a point where they just can’t quit and it takes over their lives — “nothing else matters.” Eddie says he’s been “clean” for 20 years but still feels the temptation to fill out the N-C double-A brackets if he sees a blank one lying around. For Iowans who need help, for themselves or a loved one, call 800 Bets-Off.