Calls to Wisconsin Problem Gambling Helpline continue to increase
During 2021, the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling received 22,201 contacts to its 24 hour Helpline.
WCPG is a statewide organization with a mission is to provide resources, public awareness and education on gambling disorders while maintaining strict neutrality on the issue of legalized gambling.
Blozinski says, “While the total number of contacts is important, it really only tells part of the story. There are other signifi cant numbers in our annual Helpline Report that show how devastating a gambling addiction can be.” The calls in 2021 included:
• A married man blew his paycheck and then got an advance on his next paycheck and loses approximately $3000.00 per month.
• A 52-year-old man called the Helpline. He started gambling in stocks during the lockdown and is now addicted. Because of confidentiality, the Helpline report statistics are based on callers who are willing to share such information. Monthly call April’s to the Helpline in 2021 ranged from a low of 1391 in December to a high of 2,237 in May. Among the other numbers in the Helpline report:
• 5 callers reported thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
• 4 callers reported having to file for bankruptcy as a result of their gambling problems With the play off’s and Super Bowl coming up, Blozinski says, “If you plan to bet, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. Looking ahead, we expect to see a continued increase in usage of our chat and text lines.”
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800426-2535, Text at 1-850-888-4673 or Live Chat through the WCPG website at www. wi-problemgamblers.org.