"March Madness is the largest gambling event of the year," says gambling counselor Matt Jost. "That's because there are more games and more opportunities." Jost says gamblers who have lost some money in earlier games may chase tonight's game by making a big bet to either break even or win big. But the result could be a big loss.
Jost admits it's next to impossible to get away from pools and bets this time of year. "There are a million ways to do it. One of my friends at an office showed me a bracket, I said I'll pass," says Jost, easier said than done for recovering gambling addicts. "If somebody's in recovery, this is a time to see their counselor or attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting," he suggests.
Jost says for the five percent or so with gambling problems, an event like this could contribute to legal and financial troubles.