GREEN BAY (WKOW) -- With a big sports weekend this weekend, comes gambling: but the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling is warning those who might take part.. to be careful.
The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling Helpline, took 14,380 calls last year. The 2010 total represents a slight decline from 2009 when Helpline calls reached a record 14,604. Experts say it's declining, as the economy slowly gets better.
"It's certainly significant that Helpline call activity remains brisk," said WCPG Executive Director Rose Gruber . "But the total number of calls is really only part of the story. There are other significant numbers in our annual Helpline report that show how devastating a gambling addiction can be."
Among the other numbers in the Helpline report:
-The average gambling debt of callers was $43,800 in 2010, up from $36,000 the previous year.
-68 callers reported thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts.
·21 callers reported having to file for bankruptcy due to their gambling problem.
Experts estimate that five percent to seven percent of Wisconsin's population are believed to be problem gamblers.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLE-5 for confidential help.