As billions are wagered during March Madness games, National Council on Problem Gambling reminds people it can be addicting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — You may be surprised to hear workplace brackets where money is awarded is technically illegal, but the feds likely aren’t going to bust you over $10 or $20. They’re more focused on the billions illegally bet with sports books.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 70 million brackets, $29-billion worth of wagering, most of it illegal, and you if count Las Vegas, $290-billion, which is double the Super Bowl.

The council says problem gambling affects more than 7 million Americans, and March is especially tough with so many basketball games taking center stage like ones at Sprint Center.

Kevin Bost with the National Council on Gambling says it’s a serious problem not only financially but emotionally. Bost says for some folks the addiction is really a disease.

“It’s something like alcohol,” Bost said. “Some people can have one drink, no problem. Some can’t, it could be a real serious issue, and it’s a disease that can go on traced for a long time.”

The folks at the council created the “Have A Conversation “campaign to raise awareness of prevention treatment and recovery services available. There are free phone numbers and web sites to help.

1-800-522-4700.

www.ncpgambling.org