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April 27, 2016

According to a recent study by WalletHub, the personal-finance website, New Jersey takes the seventh slot on a list of most gambling-addicted states. There’s a bitter irony to that number, given the recent push to open two new casinos in northern New Jersey. And there’s more disheartening news: the Garden State is in fourth place when it comes to percentage of adults with gambling disorders.

Nevada, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the No. 1 state for gambling addiction. Pennsylvania, which is typically cited for drawing off gambling revenue that could go to New Jersey, was rated 24th. Near neighbors New York and Connecticut finished 20th and 33rd, respectively.

Compulsive gambling is a tragic addiction. This medical condition affects approximately 2 percent of the country’s population and costs approximately $6 billion a year, according to a study by the National Council of Problem Gambling. Male addicts accumulate between $55,000 and $90,00 in debt; females average $15,000. Typically, compulsive gamblers cannot pay off their debts.

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