A responsible look at betting on the NBA Finals

June 4, 2024
Leer en Español

Gaming America had the chance to speak with Birches Health Founder and CEO Elliott Rapaport to discuss healthy ways to engage in sports betting.

The 2024 NBA Finals will begin June 6 as the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics will square off for the chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Finals represent one of the most wagered-on events for betting operators whether online or in retail locations. 

Elliott Rapaport, Founder and CEO of Birches Health, provides teletherapy for gambling addicts unable to access care. 

“Birches Health offers free access to the first comprehensive, specialized platform for problem gambling,” Rapaport said. 

“Resources, educational materials and exercises are available to all through a seamless digital onboarding process. We’re proud to partner with many companies and organizations to ensure access to resources is never limited.”

One of the main groups of concern for Birches Health also happens to be some of the most popular bettors for an event such as the Finals. Young males, specifically aged between 21-30, place many wagers on basketball events throughout the season and traffic only increases once the playoffs begin. 

“The increased accessibility to sports betting apps has driven a startling new trend of younger, tech-savvy gamblers doing so regularly from their cell phones. While sports betting historically only took place at retail sportsbooks and casinos, digitally native gamblers now can place many bets quickly and easily,” Rapaport said. 

“While individuals of all ages and demographics may bet on the NBA Finals, those who may experience serious mental and financial issues tend to skew male and younger.”

Birches Health offers many healthy betting tips to young males and anyone looking to wager on the NBA Finals while they occur. 

Rapaport understands the likelihood of how much money will be spent on wagers during the Finals, but cautioned bettors by saying, “If the recent proliferation of betting around major sporting events continues, the NBA Finals may produce record levels of handle. We know people will be betting on the NBA Finals despite those risks, though, so it is important to be aware of responsible gaming’s best practices. Sticking to a budget, never chase your losses and don’t bet while under the influence of alcohol.”

Rapaport also confirmed Birches Health will be supporting various organizations that provide betting services or content during the Finals. 

“We currently support gaming operators, state governments, media companies and professional sports organizations who are focused on ensuring that access to treatment and resources from licensed, specialized providers is readily available. We recently collaborated with a few of our partners to launch customized resources for national reach and look forward to announcing those very soon.”


Product Spotlight


Things get unruly in the company of some fleecy characters in the new Konami Gaming’s new Unwooly Riches slot series.

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

Five years ago, before the mass proliferation of social media we see today – and even before the Covid-19 pandemic – I think you would be hard pressed to find a CEO talking about “Instagrammable moments.” KPIs w...

The Global Gaming Awards: Looking ahead to 2024's ceremonies.
After more than a decade of celebrating gaming's best, Gaming America looks ahead to a bright 2024 for the Global Gaming Awards in the Americas and Asia-Pacific.
From the top: The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Tribal gaming is a uniquely American institution and all its uncommon attributes were on display this April at the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention in Anaheim, California.
Review: Terre Haute Casino Resort and Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino
Terre Haute Casino Resort vs. Harrah's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, Gaming America's Laura Mack reviews each property.
Eureka Casino interview: CEO Andre Carrier on resort expansion
We spoke with returning guest, CEO Andre Carrier, about Eureka Casino Resort's expansion. He aims to not only change the look and feel of the casino, but to also build residential housing around it.