The percentage of Ohio adults who are problem gamblers has increased in the five years since casinos and racinos opened, but the numbers are still low, according to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
According to a survey conducted by the department, 0.9 percent of Ohioans 18 or older, or about 76,400 people, identified themselves as problem gamblers, up from 0.4 percent in 2012.
While that percentage has doubled since gambling was legalized, it is significantly below the national average of 2.2 percent of people who have reported having problems in the past year, the survey says.
The Ohio for Responsible Gambling coalition, which includes the department and the Ohio Commissions of Casino Control, Lottery and Racing, on Wednesday released an analysis of the Ohio Gambling Survey – Round Two, a follow-up to the baseline survey done in 2012.
More than 24,000 adults age 18 and over completed telephone and cellphone surveys. The data was weighted by researchers at the Ohio State University on age, race, and gender to closely reflect Ohio’s population by county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board areas, and to enable generalizations from the survey sample data regarding Ohio adults, the report said.
Ohio for Responsible Gambling offers many services, including a problem gambling hotline.
Ohio adults gamble in many different ways including 50-50 raffles, bingo, casinos, keno, horse racing, scratch-off tickets, lottery tickets and sports betting, the coalition said.
Some proceeds from the taxes on casino profits and from lottery sales support prevention and responsible-gambling campaigns and programs. Funds from Ohio’s taxes related to gambling revenues ensure that any Ohioan who needs treatment for gambling disorder can obtain care at no cost.