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Iowa gambling addiction experts share concerns over sports betting as Olympics near

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 8:58 AM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI) - In less than three weeks, Iowans will be able to bet on whom they think will bring home the gold at the Olympics for the first time.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics begin on July 23rd.

However, addiction experts want to remind people that gambling can sometimes do more harm than good.

Sports betting became legal in Iowa in August 2019, and now Iowans have the ability to place bets on their phones or computers.

Since sports betting became legal, calls and visits for those seeking help for gambling actually decreased. But experts say that’s because the pandemic shut down casinos and sporting events over the last year.

Data shows about 14 percent of adults in Iowa will have issues because of gambling habits.

Some examples include constantly thinking about gambling, being secretive about gambling habits and defensive when confronted about them, gambling to escape problems, and unsuccessfully trying to control, cut back, or stop gambling.

If you or anyone you know struggles with gambling addiction, call 1-800-BETS-OFF to reach a counselor.

People can also text 855-895-8398 to talk to a counselor.

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