Gambling Prevention in Ohio

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. The essential features are:

  • Increasing preoccupation with gambling.
  • A need to bet more money more frequently.
  • Restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop.
  • “Chasing” losses.
  • Loss of control manifested by continued gambling despite negative consequences.

In extreme cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide. Problem gambling, like other brain diseases of addiction, is widespread. Two million (1%) of U.S. adults are estimated to meet criteria for disordered gambling in a given year, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling. Another four to six million (2-3%) would be considered problem gamblers; that is, they do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, but meet one or more of the criteria and are experiencing problems due to their gambling behavior. Based on national prevalence data, in Ohio it is estimated that 264,000 adults and approximately 38,000 adolescents exhibit problem gambling behaviors.

Read more about gambling prevention from OhioMHAS »

Source: OhioMHAS,

Problem Gambling Warning Signs

Are you concerned you have been, or are currently, a problem gambler? Do you:

  • Find yourself reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next venture or thinking of ways to get money to gamble?
  • Need to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to feel the excitement?
  • Become restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling?
  • Gamble as a way of escaping from problems or relieving guilt, anxiety or depression?
  • Often return another day in order to get even or chase your losses after gambling?
  • Lie to family members, friends, therapist or others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling?
  • Participate in illegal activities (e.g., forgery, fraud or theft) in order to finance your gambling?
  • Jeopardize or lose a significant relationship, job or educational or career opportunity because of gambling?
  • Rely on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling?
  • Attempt to control, cut back or stop gambling but are unable to do so?

Use the number of “yes” answers to assess the level of risk according to the below:

1-2: You are at some risk.

3-4: You are at moderate risk.

5 or more: You are at high risk.  Please consider seeking help by calling 1-800-589-9966

Source: OhioMHAS,

Pause Before You Play

Answer the some questions about your gambling activity in the last year and gauge your risk level for problem gambling. Take the, “Rate Your Risk Quiz” to learn more.

Help Is Available

Early intervention and treatment services are available to residents of Stark County through a network of qualified, caring service providers.

Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline

24 Hour Confidential National Helpline

Call or Text: 1-800-522-4700

Time Out Ohio

This program offers individuals the ability to ban themselves from Ohio’s casinos, Ohio racinos and Ohio sports gaming for one year, five years or their lifetime.

is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. Find a local or virtual meeting on their website or call the Ohio GA hotline number at 1-855-2CALLGA (1-855-222-5542).

GamAnon: Are you concerned about how the gambling of a loved one is affecting your life? Gam-Anon is a 12 Step self-help fellowship of men and women who have been affected by the gambling problem of a loved one. Find resources and meetings on their website.

Help stop problem gambling before it starts. Children who gamble before the age of 12 are at 4 times greater risk to develop a gambling problem later in life. Change the Game was created to raise awareness of the sheer amount of gambling behaviors that our youth are being exposed to every single day. Exposure to gambling can happen innocently enough, from things like lottery tickets and fantasy sports to arcades and video games.

Learn the warning signs and find tools for parents, educators, and youth on their website.

strives to generate awareness, promote education, and be an advocate for quality treatment of problem gamblers in the state of Ohio. PGNO does not take a position for or against legalized gambling. While we have a neutral stance regarding gambling, it is our responsibility to advocate for those who are negatively impacted by gambling and ensure any gambling or gambling expansion includes consumer protections to mitigate harm. PGNO provides resources for professionals, problem gamblers, and loved ones. They also host professional trainings and an annual conference.

leads state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policies and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.  Our purpose is to serve as the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.  And our vision is to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling. The National Council on Problem Gambling operates the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700). NCPG has compiled a list of state, national, and international resources on problem gambling issues.

Ohio Problem Gambling: Ohio law requires Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to promote, assist in the development of and coordinate or conduct programs for gambling addiction. The constitutional amendment that brought casinos to Ohio also includes OhioMHAS as the authority expected to address problem and pathological gambling. This amendment includes a requirement that two percent of the tax on the casinos’ gross revenue go to the State Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund to support efforts to alleviate problem gambling and substance abuse and related research in Ohio.

To date, OhioMHAS collaborates with the Ohio Lottery Commission, local communities, alcohol and other drug treatment providers, county ADAMHS Boards, faith-based entities and others to reduce problem gambling and to establish and improve gambling treatment and prevention services for Ohioans. With funding support from the Ohio Lottery Commission, OhioMHAS funds six problem gambling programs statewide in conjunction with alcohol and other drug addiction treatment services. The programs are in Athens, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown. In addition, OhioMHAS coordinates a one-day problem gambling prevention and treatment conference each year during Problem Gambling Week in March.

Ensuring that the addiction services field is ready and able to serve Ohioans with problem or pathological gambling is another role of OhioMHAS. For this reason, the Department has been providing statewide and regional trainings for addictions counselors so that Ohio has adequate staffing levels to address problem gambling behaviors as they arise.

Looking for additional resources and materials?

Contact us for additional materials.