Treatment Experts Preparing for Sports Gambling to Go into Effect

Des Moines, IOWA -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission will roll out sports betting on August 15th and the Iowa Department of Health says it's ready to help problem gamblers.

IDPH's Problem Gambling Prevention and Treatment manager Eric Preuss wants people to remember three things about placing bets. Make bets within your means, avoid getting to the point where you're chasing and trying to win back losses, and make sure that it's for fun and entertainment.

Preuss says you may have a problem if you are lying about your gambling, feeling anxious about your bets, or going to family to bail you out of losses.

He says sports gambling will be available on smart phones, making access to gambling easier. "If you're able to do something on your phone here, then the risk is what are the checks and balances that are going to be on that phone to help guide and set limits so that you're sticking with it and having fun while doing the activity," says Preuss.

He said 4-8% of the people the IDPH treats use wagering on sports as their primary form of gambling. Preuss also says one in five Iowans have made a sports wager in some form, whether it was an illegal bet online, fantasy sports, office pool, or pick-up game.

Anyone worried about problem gambling, can call 1-800-BETS OFF.  A gambler or someone concerned about a person can call for help.

You can also find more information and resources at the IDPH gambling website.

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