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Gambling addict overcomes problem, raises awareness as legal sports betting begins in CNY

The sounds of winning slot machines could be music to your ears. Add legal sports betting, which casinos in Central New York are set to launch in August, and that could keep people glued to their chairs.

The move is a reminder to play responsibly and be aware of the signs of a gambling problem.

“I was one day away from prostitution and one day away from dealing drugs,” said Joyce Barrett, of Phoenix. “I would have done whatever it took to get the money.”

That was the life of Barrett, almost 30 years ago. Playing video poker turned quickly into a secret 2-and-a-half-year life in the late 80s and early 90s.

“I stole money, I borrowed money, I became just as much of a compulsive liar and I was a gambler.”

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