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UNDATED - Over 200,000 Minnesotans struggle with an addiction to gambling - many of them in secret.

In fact, statistics show compulsive gamblers struggle in silence until the problem affects family life, jobs or create legal problems.

With this in mind, today is the beginning of Problem Gambling Awareness Week.

The goal of the campaign, sponsored by Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance and the Minnesota State Lottery, is to raise awareness and educate the public on the warning signs of problem gambling and share treatment resources.

According to the alliance, there are eight key signs someone might have a gambling problem:

  • Increased frequency of gambling activity
  • Increased amount of money gambled
  • Gambling for longer periods of time than originally planned
  • Bragging about wins, but not talking about losses
  • Pressuring others for money as financial problems arise
  • Lying about how money is spent
  • Escaping to other excesses (alcohol, drugs, sleep, etc.)
  • Denying there is a problem

To learn more about the campaign, visit them on the web or call 1-800-333-HOPE.

Problem Gambling Awareness week runs through Saturday, March 10th.