(Clinton, Conn./CBS Connecticut) – With the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments about to begin in earnest, those with the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling are out with a message.

Over $12 billion will be spent over the next several weeks on March Madness and the Council says now’s a good time for parents to have a conversation with their kids.

It says sports betting is most popular with youngsters aged 14 to 22.

About 25-percent of males bet on sports an average of once a month, the Council says.

Gambling Council Acting Executive Director Marlene Warner says they’re encouraging parents to talk to their children about the negative impacts gambling can have.

She says gambling for some is a fun pasttime but for others can turn addictive.

Those with questions an concerns can call (888) 789-7777 or text CTGAMB to 53342.

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