Illinois releases results of survey on problem gambling

March 1st starts off problem gambling awareness month. For the month, Ohio groups are coming...
March 1st starts off problem gambling awareness month. For the month, Ohio groups are coming together to discuss with people, the signs the danger and how to prevent gambling addictions.(WTVG)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 12:24 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) -How many people have a gambling problem in Illinois? The Illinois Department of Human Services Thursday released the first-of-its-kind statewide assessment of problem gambling.

Researchers tracked the prevalence of different types of gambling in the state, the availability of treatment and other services, the prevalence of problem gambling among different groups, and overall attitudes about gambling.

The study found that 68-percent of Illinois adults reported gambling in the past year, with the lottery being the most popular form. Gambling at video gaming terminals and online sports betting showed significant growth since it was legalized.

The statewide assessment also found:

• 3.8% of adult residents -- approximately 383,000 people -- are considered to have a gambling problem

• An additional 7.7% -- approximately 761,000 people -- are at risk for developing a gambling problem

As the number of individuals in need of gambling treatment services continues to rise, IDHS has made significant investments in gambling services, including $10 million budgeted for State Fiscal Year 23.

“We hope that the findings of this assessment will provide much needed information for people working on prevention and treatment of problem gambling in Illinois, which will help them make data-informed decisions on how best to assist individuals on their road to recovery,” said Dr. Hannah Carliner, of Health Resources in Action, lead author of the study.

“The broad scope of this assessment also enables it to be used as a baseline measure for future assessments to track changes over time regarding prevalence of gambling and problem gambling, and availability and use of services,” she said.

The assessment was ordered in response to legislation that expanded access to gambling across the state.

If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling, contact the State’s Gambling Helpline weknowthefeeling.org. Call: 1-800-GAMBLER, Text: “ILGamb” to 53342, or chat here.

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