March Madness tournament could have a dangerous side
Where does the fun of the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament cross over into something potentially dangerous?
For millions of people, the event is a chance to enter a bracket pool. It may feel innocent, but it's a form of gambling.
Rose Blozinski, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, says the excitement and action of the games could be a slippery slope that turns social gamblers into problem gamblers.
"People don't often recognize it because nothing's being ingested," she said. "It can go and progress a long way before someone starts recognizing, 'Hey, Joe might have a problem.'"
Steve Butler is a father who enjoys filling out brackets with his son, Jack.
"I've always done it with my buddies, but as my kids got older, it's more special," Butler said.
Jack is 10, and he says he already knows he doesn't like the tense feeling of rooting for a team because there's money on the game.
Blozinski says gambling at a young age makes it more likely to develop an addiction later in life.
Butler isn't worried about Jack.
"We've talked about how there's a limit for everything in life," he said.
Borrowing money to fund bets or debts and chasing after greater wins are some of the warning signs Blozinski mentions to look out for in problem gamblers.
If you feel like you may have a problem, call 1-800-GAMBLE-5 for 24/7 help.