This Sunday's Super Bowl is also one of the biggest challenges of the year for problem gamblers, tempted by the glitter and lure of big winnings from the big event.

"Betting is a big issue during the Super Bowl. As you know, with all sports, there is betting, as far as the coin toss is concerned, as far as the colors — things like that. It is not just the game itself, " Neva Pryor, executive director of The New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling said.


A Rutgers study last year estimated 6.3 percent of New Jersey's population has a problem with gambling.

Pryor said her group isn't for or against gambling — but notes sports betting in New Jersey is illegal, at least for now.  The Supreme Court will decide by June whether to overturn a federal law banning sports betting in most states.

"But everybody does it. It is one of those types of things," Pryor said.

Pryor said problem gamblers can help themselves by imposing limits this Sunday.

"If you are going to spend 20 dollars, stick to the 20 dollars, and do not spend any more," she said. But, she adds, "We want to make sure that, if for some reason, they should get out of hand, they should call us."

The council can be reached at 800-GAMBLER. Those needing support can text 800GAMBLER as well.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. 

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