By Art Holliday
St. Louis (KSDK) - The Super Bowl means super betting, with an estimated $10 billion wagered by this weekend. For problem gamblers, there's not much that's super about Super Bowl weekend.
"In GA meetings that I attend, a good percentage of the new gamblers coming in for the first time have some tie to the internet," said Joe, a compulsive gambler.
He agrees that gambling websites make it easier than ever to bet on the big game.
Whether you're betting the point spread on the Patriots and the Giants, or wagering what color Gatorade will be poured on the head of the winning coach.
"I think it's fair to say the neighborhood bookie is an endangered species and its' really internet sports gambling that's huge," said Joe.
The dark side of super Sunday is that many of the wagers will be placed by people who can't control their betting.
"Running up credit cards, savings were gone, some other money I had set aside for other purposes was gone. So it got bad," said Joe.
"The big win represents oh this is great, I can do this easily. I got an adrenaline rush off of it. And it's the first big high you get, like a cocaine high. The first cocaine high is the best, and you're always chasing it," said gambling counselor Arlene Miller.
Miller says failure to recognize the risks of gambling may be a warning sign that help is needed.
"So when it starts to interfere with basic life functioning. When you start to have to chase the money," said Miller.
Joe decided to stop chasing the money, and now he's betting on himself to stop gambling for good.
"I have over five and a half years of clean time. I'm very proud of that but it has no strength against the compulsion to gamble, so every day is a new day and a fresh fight against it. I'm comfortable in my recovery now and I hope to see it continue," said Joe.