Study Reveals 1 in 5 Ohio Adults are at Risk of Problem Gambling

Written By Hill Kerby on March 11, 2024 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024

A new survey from Ohio for Responsible Gambling shows an alarming trend in the wrong direction when it comes to problem gambling. More than 1.8 million Ohio adults fall into the “at risk” category, which accounts for nearly one out of every five adults in the state.

Study says 1 in 5 Ohio adults face problem gambling risk

The survey revealed that an estimated 1.8 million Ohioans face some level of problem gambling risk, ranging from low risk to severe gambling disorder. According to the research, approximately 255,000 people have a gambling disorder.

The study highlighted data from Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline, showing a 67% increase in Ohioans seeking clinical care related to gambling from 2022 to 2023. Similarly, calls to the Helpline increased by 55% last year. These increases coincided with the first full year of legal Ohio sports betting apps, which helped generate more interest in gambling and increase awareness of the Helpline and available treatment options.

Ohio continues investing in responsible gambling initiatives

Ohio’s at-risk population has tripled since 2012, despite state initiatives such as:

  • Change the Game Ohio
  • Pause Before You Play
  • Keep It Fun Ohio
  • TimeOutOhio

Ohio for Responsible Gambling has been actively seeking new ways to connect with and educate the public in recent years, launching multiple campaigns in the process. Its latest awareness effort, Pause Before You Play, promotes setting time and betting limits while gambling.

Other resources exist for voluntary self-exclusion, including Gamban, a mobile app that blocks 60,000-plus legal and offshore gambling websites., the state’s voluntary self-exclusion program, is another valuable asset Ohio has established for players. Anyone who wishes to exclude themselves from gambling can complete the self-ban process via computer, mobile device or in person at a retail location.

Ohio for Responsible Gambling announced that 67,000 Ohioans completed gambling disorder screenings in the Fiscal Year 2023, which ended in June 2023. As a result, over 1,100 people received care.

The Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by phone at 800-589-9966 or by live chat at It is also 100% confidential.

Ohio responsible gambling support is also provided on a national level by groups like the National Council on Problem Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous, and the International Center for Responsible Gambling.

March becomes Problem Gambling Awareness Month in Ohio

Historically, problem gambling risks increase around major sporting events. With this year’s Super Bowl in the rear window, the entire sports betting world is gearing up for the 2024 March Madness tournament, making March the perfect month to highlight the importance of responsible gambling practices like setting deposit limits and time budgets.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Director LeeAnne Cornyn echoed this sentiment in a press release about the survey’s findings, saying:

“March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. With nearly 1 in 5 Ohio adults considered to be ‘at risk’ for problem gambling, the month serves as a prime opportunity to raise awareness, educate the public, and highlight critical prevention and treatment resources.”

Gov. Mike DeWine recently acknowledged the department’s efforts by signing a proclamation on March 1, officially naming March Problem Gambling Awareness Month in the state of Ohio.

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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing.

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