Sports Gambling Among Young People Causes Concern For Addiction
The holidays also present a time when an increasing number of young people are turning to sports gambling and that has raised red flags among addiction experts.
Rose Blozinski is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling.
She says more young people are at risk...
"College students and teens are at higher risk of becoming addicted to gambling. While 5-7 percent of the population has a gambling problem, when we look at younger people, 6-20 percent of those people are at risk to becoming addicted. It's a high risk group and we like to get information out there that they can become addicted...."
Blozinski says new studies show a disturbing trend toward youth betting and this type of gaming can be done in isolation...
"...Gambling addictions are hidden addictions. So when you're doing it online, when your on your phone or computer, no one knows you're doing it so it's really easy to keep on doing it with nobody even having a clue that there might be an issue...."
There are 41 college football bowl games between Dec. 15 and January 7 and more than 2,000 websites offering gambling opportunities, along with NFL, NBA and hockey in the gambling mix.
Blozinski says help is available...
"If anybody is concerned about themselves or someone else, the first thing I would do is give us a call at our toll-free number 1800-GAMBLE-5. We answer that phone 24 hours a day every day of the year. We also have a chatline which is wi-problemgamblers.org"
There's also a text number at 850-888-HOPE(4673). Blozinski says the earlier a person starts gambling the more likely they are to develop a problem.