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Sports Betting, Addiction Problems, Spike This Time Of Year


More than 12,000 calls game into a problem gambling hotline last year and a spokesperson says this time of the year is particularly bad for people with gambling addiction.

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and other sources report  15 percent of Americans gamble at least once per week. About 2.5 million adults suffer from compulsive gambling, about 3 million are considered problem gamblers, around 15 million adults are under the risk of becoming problem gamblers.

Rose Blozinski is Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling based in Green Bay.. She says how people are reaching out for help is changing...

"....across the country the past couple of years the numbers of calls have declined, but we don't see the need declining. People are desperate when they are calling us. We think people are doing more of the chat lines and the text lines or just going to a website and not contacting the agency...."

Blozinski outlines the services they offer....

"...first of all, help them with any immediate crisis they're having. able to assess if there's any suicide issues going on. Our main goal is to refer them to resources, Gambler's Anonymous meetings, similar to AA or NA meetings, We also have a listing of treatment providers who are trained to deal specifically with compulsive gambling issues. We have other resources we can refer them to as well....."

Blozinski says a tough time for some gamblers is after the holidays when bills come due. She says there's a temptation to try for a big win to pay off the debts. She says gambling on the football playoffs and the Super Bowl, along with March Madness comes this time of year.

She says if someone wants to talk about gambling, they can call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-GAMBLE-5 or their website.

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