Super Bowl Means Super-Betting In NJ [AUDIO]
The Super Bowl is the biggest betting day of the year for sports fans and with the New York Giants in the big game Sunday, it's likely to cause a gambling explosion in the Garden State.
Over $8 billion will be be across the country for this year's Super Bowl. Its speculated that having the Giants in the game will cause even more betting in New Jersey.
Jeff Beck, spokesman for the Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, says 90% of people will gamble within their means, but for the other 10% the big game could trigger a gambling binge. "The fact that the Giants are in yet means for this area that more people are likely to bet and it could create a bigger problem for compulsive gamblers."
The Council estimates that there are over 350,000 problem gamblers in New Jersey and fears that number will grow.
"There is a rise of internet gambling, there's office pools and bookies...people have a lot of ways they can gamble..and while some of that is illegal, I think that if the state is approved for sports betting when the federal ban gets lifted, there will be a lot more legal betting going on in this state so then we will truly know the real number of gamblers out there."
Beck says over 50% of calls to the Council the day after last year's Super Bowl came from family members seeking help for themselves or a loved one. "The Monday after the game is typically referred to as Black and Blue Monday due to the domestic violence that appears to stem from Super Bowl losses and the physical and emotional abuse of spouses...people get angry when they lose money."
According to Donald Weinbaum, Executive Director of The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, "Compulsive gambling is an illness - it is not just a question of willpower. This is a curable disease, yet only a small percentage of compulsive gamblers ever seek treatment or self help groups."
The Council offers a free confidential 24 hour help line with information about self help groups and Compulsive Gambling Counselors. The Council reminds anyone struggling on their own:
"If you or a loved one has a gambling problem, remember there is help. Call 1-800-GAMBLER®. Talk to someone who understands the pain and who can help provide solutions."