Fans betting thousands on NFL playoffs
GREEN BAY, WI--With the playoffs underway and the Super Bowl fast approaching, many sports gamblers are preparing to put it all on the line. But sometimes these kinds of bets can turn into a dangerous problem.
New numbers just released today from the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, show their helpline took more than 14,000 calls in 2012, a near record number, up 7 percent from the year before.
And as the road to the Super Bowl begins the line may only get busier with football fans.
"They all like to have parties centered around the Packers games where they all just get together and go for broke" said Cassandra Vandervelden, from Appleton.
Vandervelden is a big Packers fan, but she would never bet thousands, like her husband or his friends, on a game. Sometimes losing so much cash, Vandervelden has relatives who've split up over a bad bet.
"I've seen some problems in their famlies because the husband was a little more into it than he should have been" said Vandervelden.
Same goes for Devin Smith. His friends gamble hundreds.
"They have fun hoping their team is going to win and get a rise out of winning you know" said Smith.
Sports betting sites, getting a lot of Wisconsin traffic this week, as Packers fans bet like crazy, says the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling.
"It's real easy for it to get out of hand" said executive director of the WCPG, Rose Gruber.
Gruber says if you do want to gamble, do it safely. Only use money you can afford to lose. " Don't take the bill money, the grocery money, take money that is set aside for social fun activities and stick to that" So you don't lose more... Than you bargained for. A reminder...In wisconsin...The only *legal type of gambling is the lottery...And at casinos. If you or someone you know needs help with a "gambling addiction"..Call 1-800- gamble- five.. To speak with a trained counselor.....