With inflation continuing to push costs higher almost every month, a new report finds a growing number of Garden State men and women, especially younger ones, are turning to gambling to supplement their income.

Felicia Grondin, the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, said a statewide survey finds “15% of respondents consider betting-related activities as a major source of their income, and the percentages are markedly higher for people between the ages of 21 and 39.”

She said the survey also shows “36% of the people in their 20’s indicated gambling is a major source of their earnings, as compared to 1 in 4, 25% of individuals in their 30s.”

She noted at the same time “we found that 1 in 4 adults, 24% indicated that they bet more than they originally intended to bet, people gambled with the hope of recovering losses they incurred by their gambling activity.”

She said it’s understandable people are looking for ways to supplement their incomes but the trend is scary and very concerning.

Roulette casino
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Betting promoted everywhere

Grondin pointed out that online and sports betting opportunities are everywhere and “the incessant advertising encourages people to gamble, and some people win but a lot of people lose.”

She said we need to expand education efforts about problem gambling, “provide warning labels on gambling sites, whether they be online gambling sites or brick and mortar casinos and to place limits on advertising.”

She said in some ways advertising has become predatory “and studies have found that individuals that are exposed to excessive advertising will develop a gambling problem.”

Grondin noted those who are already struggling with a gambling problem are more apt to lose control and start making bets if they are exposed to continual gambling ads.

She said the bottom line message is “don’t look to gambling to supplement your income, it should be viewed as a form of entertainment and you should also place limits for yourself as far as how much you’re willing to lose.”

“Identify the amount you are willing to lose, and if you win great, but don’t count on it as a major source of income.”

The Counsel has a gambling awareness conference on Sept. 23, more information is available at 800gambler.org.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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