October 21, 2014

Promoting gambling awareness

Advocates are spreading the word that compulsive gambling can be a problem.

Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling Rose Gruber says help is available. “And there’s nothing wrong with calling and reaching out for help.”

Despite the amount of public awareness efforts, Gruber says some people might not realize there are resources out there. “It’s one of those things that until you need help or you know someone that has a gambling problem, it kind of doesn’t hit your radar.”

It’s estimated that 5 percent to 7 percent of the population faces a gambling problem, according to Gruber. “Well, in Wisconsin we’re looking at about 340,000 people who have some kind of addiction to gambling.”

Gambling is an equal opportunity addiction. Gruber says “it’s not a picky addiction.” It can happen to anyone of any age, race, gender, or income bracket. Those in need can call toll free for confidential help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year: 1-800-gamble-5. Gruber says people can be connected with emergency resources in their communities.

March 3-9 is National Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:16