Calls, emails to gambling hotline up 7 percent

CREATED Jan 16, 2013

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Calls and emails to a gambling helpline in Wisconsin increased 7 percent in 2012.

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling says a challenging economy is partly to blame for the increase.

The council's annual report shows hotline operators handled about 14,500 calls and emails in 2012, up about 1,000 from the previous year.

Council executive director Rose Gruber tells The Post-Crescent (http://post.cr/WIXfhz ) that gamblers who lose their job or have other financial problems turn to betting for a quick fix.

Callers reported an average of nearly $40,000 in gambling debt last year.

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Information from: The Post-Crescent, http://www.postcrescent.com