Some Could Not Overcome the Urge to Bet on the Preakness Stakes

October 5, 2020
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc.

The anticipation to see world-class horses and their trainers line up for the second Triple Crown race had been building up for weeks. After being delayed due to the pandemic, the Preakness Stakes featured 12 horses on Saturday, October 3, 2020, for an event with no fans in the stands and shown through simulcast. The anticipation was especially high for bettors, as the winner of the Kentucky Derby was not featured in Saturday’s race, putting all other competitors at odds with each other. [1]

The Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes) draws thousands of wagers each year. Last year, the Kentucky Derby alone set a record for the amount of money bet, with a total of $165.5 million in wagers [2]! Gambling on horse racing, when done amongst the bettors themselves and not involving the race track or a bookie, is considered “pari-mutuel betting.”. However, it is important to remember that online gambling, including placing an online wager for the Preakness Stakes, is not legal in Florida.  Regardless, those who cannot control their urges to bet did not let this stand in the way. While most who choose to gamble can do so as a safe form of recreation, some suffer from gambling addiction with devastating effects including financial difficulties, lost life opportunities, relationship problems including divorce, and even suicidal ideation and attempts.   

[IMAGE] Some Could Not Overcome the Urge to Bet on the Preakness Stake

Although horse racing is not an everyday activity, the heightened thrill of betting on a highly publicized event can trigger a recurrence of gambling addiction for any individual struggling with this condition or on their road to recovery. Depending on gambling to improve your financial circumstances is a sign that you may need to seek help as well. Our 2019-2020 HelpLine report showed that 50% of callers help household gambling-related debts of some type. [3] 

888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine callers have found hope when all else seemed lost. By seeking help, you and your loved ones can begin your journey on the path to problem gambling recovery. Knowing that you are not alone on your journey to recovery is essential when you make the call. 

The FCCG’s 24-hour confidential and multilingual HelpLine may be reached by calling 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321) 978-0555, emailing fccg@gamblinghelp.org, initiating a live chat at gamblinghelp.org, or by reaching out to us on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

[1]  CBS Sports Staff Oct 1. “2020 Preakness States Odds, Predictions: Expert Who’s Called 9 Winners Releases Surprising Picks.” CBSSports.com, 1 Oct. 2020, www.cbssports.com/general/news/2020-preakness-states-odds-predictions-expert-whos-called-9-winners-releases-surprising-picks/

[2] Shapiro, Michael. “Report: Kentucky Derby Sets Betting Record at $165 Million.” Sports Illustrated, 6 May 2019, www.si.com/horse-racing/2019/05/06/kentucky-derby-gambling-record-country-house-maximum-security.

[3] 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report., 2020 ed., The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., 2020, 24-Hour Problem Gambling HelpLine Annual Report.