About 4% of adults in both Indiana and Illinois have gambling disorders that can prevent them from cutting back their bets, even if it’s adversely affecting their lives, according to new studies recently completed in each state.
The studies, conducted by Prevention Insights, part of the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, and Health Resources in Action on behalf of the Illinois Department of Human Services, are the first comprehensive nationwide assessments of problem gambling in legal gambling widespread in Indiana and Illinois about three decades ago.
Although the numbers aren’t directly comparable due to measurement differences, the Indiana study found that men ages 18 to 34 and men over 55 with incomes of less than $100,000 per year were among those most likely to have a gambling problem had.
In Illinois, Hispanic percentage of problem gamblers (34%) was about double the percentage of the state’s population (17%). According to the study, Illinois residents with gambling problems spent about $16,750 a year on gambling.
“We hope the results of this assessment will provide much-needed information for people working to prevent and treat problem gambling in Illinois, which will help them make data-backed decisions about how best to support individuals on their road to recovery.” can support,” he told Dr. Health Resources in Action’s Hannah Carliner.
“The broad scope of this assessment also allows it to be used as a baseline measure for future assessments to track changes over time in the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling, as well as service availability and usage.”
Both states offer hotlines to connect people who think they have a gambling problem with local resources that can help solve it.
Illinois residents can access recovery options by calling 1-800-GAMBLER, texting “ILGamb” to 53342, or visiting the WeKnowTheFeeling.org Website.
Hoosiers should call 1-800-9WITHIT for help with problem gambling.
“Gambling addiction is often viewed as a behavior of choice rather than a disease like alcoholism. Further education about the risks of gambling beyond entertainment or recreation can improve the lives of many Hoosiers,” said Mary Lay, program manager of Prevention Insights’ Indiana problem gambling awareness program.
The studies have found that gambling is very popular in both states and almost all gamblers successfully limit their bets to money they can afford to lose.
In Indiana, 84% of Hoosiers said they had participated in at least one gambling activity in the past year, while 68.4% of Illinois residents said the same — likely less than usual, particularly in Illinois, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic .
The lottery was the most popular form of gambling, with 72% of Hoosiers and 54% of Illinoisans saying they had purchased a scratch or draw lottery ticket in the past year.
The study found that casino gambling is the second most popular form of wagering in Indiana, with 40% of adults saying they have recently visited a casino.
In Illinois, however, gambling with friends was more common, as 33% of study participants reported making informal bets on casual card games, personal skills, or raffle tickets in the past year.
According to the study, only 15% of Illinois residents went to a casino to gamble, and 14% gambled on a slot machine in a bar or restaurant.
Copies of the problem gambling studies for each state are available online at nwi.com.