There's been a record number of calls to a Wisconsin help line set up for problem gamblers and those close to them. The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling reports the line received 12,946 calls in 2008, compared to 9341 in 2007. Executive Director Rose Gruber attributes the increase to a lagging economy, in which gamblers who find themselves unemployed, try to make money betting and looking for the "next big win."
Gruber says even if the gamblers win, their financial standings won't improve as they will use the money to continue gambling for the "high" rather than pay bills.
Gruber also attributes the increased calls to the group's efforts in getting the word out about their service, as well as gambling becoming less taboo sp people are more willing to talk about it.
The 24-hour help line can be reached at 1-800-gamble-5 (426-2535).