Tune in to WFAN every Sunday morning for ‘Rick Wolff’s Sports Edge,’ and follow Rick Wolff on Twitter @askcoachwolff.

For more than a decade – since 2007 to be exact – Don from Gamblers Anonymous has joined me every Super Bowl Sunday on WFAN to talk about the urgent warning signs that sports parents should be aware of regarding their sons or daughters developing signs of gambling addiction.

Let me say this — as I repeat every year on the show —  gambling addiction is a serious behavioral issue that was finally officially recognized a few years ago by the psychiatric profession as a true medical disease, much like being addicted to drugs or smoking. Specifically, in 2013, the American Psychiatric Association changed the definition of compulsive gambling from being an “impulse disorder” to an “addiction.” That is significant.

Depending on the sources you check with, it’s estimated that anywhere from 1 percent to as much as 10 percent of all Americans are addicted to gambling. And since there are 330 million Americans, you can do the math…we’re talking about literally millions potentially being affected.

And as you well know, legalized gambling is now pretty much all over the country, and that includes gambling online on sporting events. It was reported that the state of NJ did $1 billion in revenue on legalized gambling this past December alone.  Business is booming. And NYS is on the cusp of legalizing sports gambling online as well.

To be very clear, for the vast majority of people, they enjoy wagering on games, but more importantly, they are able to walk away from the action, and not feel compelled to come back and play again. In short, they gamble responsibly. They don’t feel a compelling urge to keep on betting.

Read more on this story at askcoachwolff.com.

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