Under the Constitutional Amendment permitting casino gaming in Ohio, 2 percent of the gross casino revenue goes toward services and programs aimed at problem gambling and addiction. The state has taken a unique approach to help those seeking treatment for a gambling addiction with the creation of Ohio for Responsible Gambling (ORG). ORG brings together the resources of multiple state agencies – the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS), the Ohio Lottery Commission and the Ohio Racing Commission – in a collaborative effort to provide education materials, prevention programs and treatment options. Ohio is the first state to take this approach to assist problem gamblers, and was awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the National Council on Problem Gambling for its efforts.
Prior to the opening of casinos and racinos in Ohio, the state conducted a survey to gauge attitudes towards gambling and the prevalence of gambling disorders to establish a baseline for future service needs. Read the 2012 Survey of At-Risk and Problem Gambling Prevalence Among Ohioans (updated Feb. 2015).
Each year, OhioMHAS gives a presentation to the Commission outlining the State’s plan for problem gambling services. The 2 percent of casino tax revenue that is dedicated to problem gambling is allocated under a plan agreed to by the Commission and OhioMHAS.
At this year’s presentation, OhioMHAS noted the number of Ohioans screened for a gambling disorder increased by 25 percent, and the number of treatment locations has more than tripled. Education and training sessions were conducted across the state for mental health and addiction professionals, and the Department is also working to increase awareness of responsible gambling at the local level through campaigns such as 'Be the 95%.'
Looking ahead, OhioMHAS noted a follow-up to the statewide gambling survey to the one conducted prior to the opening of casinos in Ohio is underway. Survey results are anticipated in the fall of 2017.
Read the Report on Problem Gambling Services for SFY 2016-2017.