Holiday stress can lead to more problems for gambling addicts - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Holiday stress can lead to more problems for gambling addicts

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Gambling can be a good form of entertainment for some, but for those with a gambling problem, it could be a dangerous habit, especially around the holiday season.

Rose Gruber, with the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, said there are about 300,000 people in Wisconsin with some form of a gambling problem. And she said spending more time with family and friends can actually be a trigger that leads to more gambling for some.

"The gambling becomes a stress reliever," Gruber said. "So I can run away, go gamble for a little bit of time and I don't have to deal with the family and all of the other issues going on."

Gruber said gambling can become a way for the gambling addict to escape the pressures of the holidays.

"Compulsive gambling is just like alcohol or drugs, it takes away the pain that you're having for awhile, so it's an escape," Gruber said.

The following are some tips from the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling if you plan on gambling.
  • Set a specific spending limit and stick to it; don't bet more money than you feel comfortable losing
  • Don't gamble alone; make it a social activity
  • Don't look at gambling as a way to make money
  • Don't reinvest your winnings
  • Never bet with money that was borrowed
  • If you feel the need to gamble to escape the stress of the holidays, look for an alternative; take in a movie, go out for dinner or start a new exercise program
If you, or someone you know, has a problem with gambling they can call the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling help line at 1-800-Gamble5 or 1-800-426-2535.

For more information, click here.

Gruber joined us on 27 News at 5 on Monday.
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