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Sports gambling concerns rise for addiction centers

Posted at 7:01 PM, Sep 26, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Following the legalization of online sports betting in Arizona, addiction centers are worrying about the potential consequences that come with it.

Catalina Christophe, a counselor at Camino Nuevo Counseling Center, said she typically recommends people with gambling addictions to avoid places like casinos, but now gambling is everywhere.

"When you talk about gambling at home and the internet that is very hard to control because now you have it on cell phone," Christophe said.

She added that college students are some of the most susceptible to gambling addictions related to sports betting.

"I mean there are hotspots like Sunday, Monday, and Thursday for football," Jason Greene, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, said. "Some kids it's every day. Some kids it doesn't matter what it is, which is kind of concerning because they don't even know what they are doing."

Greene said his friends mostly lose their bets. When students try to win back their money this is when problems start, Christophe said.

"They are never going to put something out there that they are going to lose money on." Christophe said about sports books. "They are always going to be the best winners. They're always going to win first and you're going to be last."

If you think you may have a gambling addiction, click here for a self-assessment. If you are looking for help, the Arizona Department of Gaming offers free help. You can start by calling 1-800-NEXT-STEP or texting NEXTSTEP to 53342.