In light of this week's Powerball frenzy and the suspension of TU's Athletic Director, Ross Parmley, many Tulsans have gambling on the brain.
Channel 8 caught up with "Steve," a man recovering from a gambling addiction. He is active in Gamblers Anonymous and a men's church group.
"I would presume, being a gambler, that he [Parmley] knew the risks involved. He knew what the consequences would be if caught," said Steve.
Parmley is on paid leave while the NCAA investigates gambling allegations. A federal affidavit cites a possible $1,782 transaction with a suspected bookie under investigation. The affidavit notes Parmley is an "admitted gambler." The affidavit does not cite how Parmley gambled, but it is against NCAA regulations for NCAA program employees to wager on some intercollegiate, amateur, and professional sports.
Steve told Channel 8 these allegations should not be a reflection on Parmley's character.
"He's not a bad person," said Steve.
Steve explained that gamblers never intend to cause harm. Rather, he said, gambling is addictive. It goes from being about entertainment to being about chasing losses.
Steve has been in recovery for seven years. He said being in Oklahoma makes it tough.
"They give a safe number of like three to five percent [of people with gambling problems]. With the accessibility and availability it is here, I would say that number is considerably higher."
If you or someone you know might have a gambling problem, you may phone the Oklahoma Association for Problem and Compulsive Gambling at 1-800-522-4700. The Tulsa hotline for Gamblers Anonymous is 918-760-4349.