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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

WI monitoring side effects of sports betting

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Tuesday, March 26, 2024   

March Madness is in full swing, and depending on where you live, you might be able to place a bet on a college basketball tournament game. Wisconsin hasn't fully embraced the movement, but experts still advise people to avoid unhealthy habits.

A 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling paved the way for states to decide if they want to legalize sports betting. That helped fuel the presence of online platforms where people can place wagers through their smartphones. Wisconsin limits live bets to tribal casinos. But bettors can flock to some neighboring states for online access.

Rose Blozinski, executive director of the Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, said they're neutral on these laws but still have concerns.

"We know that more people are going to do it, and we also know that more people are going to become addicted to gambling," she said.

Since the legalization wave, Connecticut officials havehave reported a 200% increase in calls to gambling addiction hotlines.

To protect yourself from falling into traps, prevention experts recommend only betting what you can afford. If troubling patterns emerge, they suggest things like deleting betting apps and switching to flip phones. Nearly 40 states allow some form of sports betting, but some do have restrictions for college games.

The financial impacts of problem gambling can be obvious, but Blozinski noted that compulsive gamblers also have a higher suicide rate. And with mobile betting marketed toward young adults, she said this demographic should be considered high-risk.

"They're at a time where they're high risk-takers to start, and gambling fits right in with that, especially the sports betting. It makes them feel important; if you're winning, you can brag to all your friends," she added.

She said a big problem in helping young adults falling into addiction is that Gamblers Anonymous resources are outdated in the age groups they cater to. Industry leaders note their ads come with disclosures about problem gambling and where to seek help. But prevention experts say they're not easy to understand, and called for broader funding to carry out assistance programs.


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