Online betting is officially underway in New Jersey, and the state's Council on Compulsive Gambling (CCGNJ) is urging those who may find themselves in trouble to seek help.

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"For people who have a problem, there is a real concern due to the ease of access and the availability around the clock," said Donald Weinbaum, CCGNJ executive director. "You can gamble anytime, anyplace. You can even wake up in the middle of the night and gamble if you want, so that is a concern."

According to Weinbaum, these criteria are red flags for a serious problem:

  • If you spend all your time gambling;
  • If gambling is one of the most important things in your life;
  • If you're covering up your gambling activity;
  • If gambling is growing in importance or getting out of control;
  • If you're trying to win back money that you've already lost.

"With Internet gambling, it is easy to play, there will be heavy marketing and companies will be competing against each other, which will be very enticing to a person with a gambling problem," said Weinbaum. "The fast play and the use of technology will make it even easier. Anybody can play anytime, and you can play more than one game at a time."

However, Weinbaum said anyone can curb the problem by participating in New Jersey's voluntary self-exclusion program.

CCGNJ offers free assistance 24 hours a day. For more information, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit