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March Madness Coincides Problem Gambling Awareness Month

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Every March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) holds its Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, which is known as March Madness. During March, there are 67 college basketball games that are divided into four regions and organized into an elimination bracket that pre-determines when a team wins a game, which team they will compete against next to advance in order to compete in the national championship. It is one of the most popular annual sporting events in the United States and is televised on multiple TV channels throughout the month. It is also common for people to predict the outcomes of each game. There are also high-stakes bracket pools that people can participate in, even if they do not typically gamble. Media outlets, such as ESPN, CBS Sports and Fox Sports, host online tournaments during which contestants can participate for free. This can perpetuate an environment that is conducive to gambling and risky behavior. According to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ), a member of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. (NJAMHAA), 47 million Americans gambled during March Madness in 2019 and approximately $8.5 billion were wagered.

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