Super Bowl Is a Temptation to Gamblers

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – One by one, they filed in for a Tuesday night meeting of Gamblers Anonymous.

One man wore an Eagles sweat shirt. One remembered the Super Bowl Sunday he spent babysitting his granddaughter, only to find himself with an uncontrollable urge to bet $10,000 on the game, 10 years after his last bet.

Then there was the newcomer, facing his first Super Bowl since he quit a lifelong addiction in which he bet up to $12,000 a game on the NFL.

“It’s a tough week,” he told the gathering. “It’s the trifecta: We’ve got football, the Super Bowl and my favorite team playing.”

For gambling addicts like these, the Super Bowl is anything but super. The buildup to Sunday can be even worse: It is a time to relive bad memories, to fight gnawing temptations, to avoid thinking about the event everyone seems to be talking about.

That’s a difficult proposition, especially here – in a southern New Jersey community awash in Philadelphia Eagles fever. There are “Go Eagles” signs on cars, grocery store circulars advertising Super Bowl snacks and seemingly nonstop coverage of Terrell Owens’ injury on radio and TV.

“They just have to ignore …