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More calls to Wisconsin gambling hotline


UNDATED (WSAU)   A Wisconsin hotline to get help for gambling addictions took about 8-percent more calls last year. But the average size of those people’s debts went down dramatically.

The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling said its hotline took just over 14,000 calls in 2012 – and the average debt reported by the callers was around $40,000. That’s way down from $157,000 the previous year.

But Council director Rose Gruber says last year’s actual numbers might be higher, because not all callers revealed how much debt was involved. Gruber says sports betting Web sites are busy this month – especially as Wisconsinites bet on the Green Bay Packers during the N-F-L Playoffs. Gruber says it’s really easy for this type of wagering to get out of hand – and she says people should only gamble what they can afford to lose.