The Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $1 billion, stirring widespread attention but also posing a tremendous risk for problem gamblers. The amount of the jackpot and the hype surrounding it only adds to an environment being overwhelmed by enticements to place bets in one form or another. The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey is responding to this trend with increased public awareness and help to all who need it.
More and more people in New Jersey and across the country are struggling to make ends meet due to the sharp rise in inflation. Those facing financial hardship may see the Mega Millions jackpot as a potential solution to their difficulties, and these individuals may put at risk a week’s pay or even their savings in the hope of a big win that will most likely end in disappointment, or worse.
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ (CCGNJ) would like to call attention to several red flags — indications of a developing gambling problem. These include:
- Betting with money intended for household expenses or other purposes
- Gambling more than intended or more than you can afford
- Using savings, including one’s retirement savings or a child’s college fund, to gamble
- Borrowing money to play and hoping to pay it back out of winnings
- Trying to win back money lost in previous games or in other forms of gambling
- Spending more and more time gambling or thinking about gambling.
Felicia Grondin, Executive Director of CCGNJ, wants people to know that those at risk for problem gambling have a place to turn: “CCGNJ is here to listen and educate the public about gambling disorder and to provide referrals for treatment and related support groups. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, please give us a call at 1-800-GAMBLER and continue to check out our website. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide treatment, hope and support. Make the call – visit us. It’s time to change your life.”