People who help those with problems related to gambling are gathering later this month for their annual meeting and a state leader says there are warning signs your gambling has become harmful.
Rose Gruber is Director of the Green Bay-based Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling. They educate and promote understanding of problem gambling and the disorder of compulsive gambling. Gruber says it's estimated more than 330,000 people in Wisconsin have a gambling problem.
She says there is a signal that a person's gambling habits have changed....
"...you've always been a social gambler and you spend $20 dollars once a week and you go to the casino, or play the lottery or you bet on the Packers. Then one night you say, 'just $20 more and I know I will win'. Suddenly you're spending $40. It really is the very first sign that things are starting to change...."
She says if you're spending more money and going more often to gamble, that also is a sign you've changed. She says more arguments with your spouse or shortage of money to pay bills is another sign, along with a focus on gambling rather than the other things in your life.
Gruber points the public toward their 24 hour helpline at 1-800-GAMBLE-5. They also have a chat line through their website. We have a link to their Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling website.