March Madness, An Ongoing Challenge For Problem Gamblers [AUDIO]
As March Madness gallops to its finality, problem gamblers addicted to sports betting may also find themselves once again up against a wall.
Betting on March Madness grows each year by leaps and bounds. One estimate taken in 2009 showed seven-billion dollars is wagered on March Madness brackets distributed within offices and circles of friends, online betting, and bets with campus or neighborhood bookies. The NCAA, the governing body of all of college sports, estimates that 1 in 10 Americans will complete a tournament bracket.
Donald Weinbaum, head of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey says at this time of year, their calls always go up, but whether it is connected to March Madness entirely, he says that is hard to tell.
He says of the 350-thousand problem gamblers in the State, an estimated 10 percent are sports bettors.
But one of the more troubling aspects of problem gambling and March Madness is the increasing involvement of a growing number of younger problem gamblers.