COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Gambling's growing impact on Ohio families and businesses will be the focus of several events during Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March.
Ohio for Responsible Gambling and the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio aim to showcase the difference between responsible entertainment and risky, potentially damaging, behavior.
Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Prevention chief, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said the COVID-19 pandemic has led many Ohioans to search for ways to entertain themselves at home – with gambling being one of those ways.
She added, "Most Ohioans simply aren't aware that 1 out of every 10 adults are at risk of having gambling problems."
According to Frohnapfel-Hasson, the majority of gamblers are non-problem gamblers. However, each type of gambling has a segment of at risk or problem gamblers. A 2017 study found casino gamblers and sports gamblers had the highest rates of at-risk/problem gambling: 24.0% and 24.3% respectively.
The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates about 2% of the population has some gambling problem. Frohnapfel-Hasson says Ohio data suggests more than 90,000 Ohioans may be experiencing a gambling addiction. Children are also at risk, with 14.7% of youth ages 12-17 having gambled money or personal items. Children who gamble before the age of 12 are four times more likely to develop a gambling problem later in life.
"People with gambling problems also have a higher risk of drug dependency, alcoholism, mental health issues, and suicide rates," said Derek Longmeier, executive director, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. "Every Ohioan sees the impact of addiction."
The state created an award-winning awareness program called Before You Bet that offers community toolkits, online quizzes, and free resources to educate people of any age about responsible gambling.
The 18th Annual Ohio Problem Gambling Conference will also bring together hundreds of national experts, state leaders, and local innovators in problem gambling prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, and research. The event will occur virtually every Tuesday and Thursday in March, with a full agenda and registration information available at www.pgnohio.org.
"Betting is part of our landscape," Longmeier said. "The more we all learn the warning signs when things get out of hand, the better for our families, friends, and communities."
Contact: Sarah Irvin Clark (614) 225-9100
SOURCE Ohio for Responsible Gambling