The signs of the strengthening economy are visible all around Wisconsin. One of those signs is showing up in an unexpected place. The Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling, which is funded by donor funding and public awareness grants from the state, is reporting that there were just over 500 fewer calls placed to the Helpline in 2013 than the number in 2012.

The 13,935 calls the Helpline received in 2013 is just below the five-year average number of calls per year, which is 14,184 calls. The WCPG executive director says that she expects the pace of calls will remain steady. She says holiday shopping bills, college bowl games and the Super Bowl usually mean they have quite a few calls during the first two months of the year. For many people who choose to call the Helpline, the gambling problem has started to affect other areas of the gambler’s life, such as mounting debt or causing relationship troubles.