North Carolina Problem Gambling Program prepares for spike as sports betting begins

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Problem Gambling Program is preparing for a potential spike in people becoming addicted to sports betting, which launches in North Carolina March 11.

Program leaders told CBS 17 they’re teaming with UNC Chapel Hill on a prevention and treatment program for kids and young adults. Counselors will be able to connect clients with financial experts if sports betting is taking a toll on their finances.

You’ll also see advertisements in stadiums and at other sporting events so people know about the helpline in case they need help.

The program is receiving another $2 million a year through the state’s sports betting law to expand its prevention services. Youth Prevention Coordinator Alison Wood said that money will help grow those prevention efforts for years to come.

“We’ve already started executing in small ways so that as the funding comes in, we can build upon that,” Wood said.

If you’re new to sports betting, experts suggest paying attention to how much money you’re dishing out. That way, you’re holding yourself accountable and maybe you’ll be less likely to get addicted.

“Keep track of what they’re spending and be conscious of their betting,” Wood said.

If you call the problem gambling helpline at 877-718-5543, you’ll be referred to a clinician within 24 hours.

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