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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2013
 
CONTACT 
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047
Alexis Abel, Snitily Carr, Public Relations Counsel, (402) 617-4510
 
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Super Bowl and Problem Gambling: More to Lose Than Money
 
Lincoln—Millions of Americans will soon be watching the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers vie for the national title in Super Bowl XLVII. America’s most-watched sporting event, the Super Bowl is also one of the most-gambled-on sporting events.
 
According to ESPN, wagers on last year’s Super Bowl were projected to exceed $10 billion internationally.  And in the United States, sports betting is illegal almost everywhere.
 
Though gambling can be a source of entertainment for many, over 55,000 Nebraskans meet the criteria for problem gambling behavior in a given year.
 
“Problem gamblers may be preoccupied with gambling, bet more money than they can afford, lie about the money and time spent gambling and often chase their losses,” said Scot Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
 
Maya Chilese, program manager for the Division of Behavioral Health’s Gamblers Assistance Program, encouraged people who think they may be experiencing problem gambling behavior to seek help.
 
“If placing a bet becomes more important than sticking to reasonable limits, that’s a sign of problem gambling,” said Chilese. “But help for problem gambling is available, and it works.”
 
Treatment services may include crisis intervention, individual counseling, group therapy and family counseling. Help is often available at no to low cost for the gambler and his or her loved ones.
 
If you think you, a friend or family member may be experiencing problematic gambling behavior, confidential and free support is available 24/7 through the Gamblers Assistance Program’s Problem Gambling Helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More information about problem gambling, including low-risk playing tips, is available at PlayItSafe.ne.gov.
 
The Division of Behavioral Health in the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services administers the Gamblers Assistance Program. GAP provides funding for the helpline, treatment services, prevention and outreach services and counselor training. The program is paid for by funding in part from the State Lottery and the Heath Care Cash Fund.
 
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