A new report out shows gambling on the rise in Ohio. It also shows that more Ohioans addicted to gambling are getting help.
Louis Weigele is a clinical social worker who has worked with gambling addictions.
“People lose their jobs, people lose their livelihoods, people lose their families,” says Weigele of the effect gambling can have.
Weigele says with more casinos opening up in the state along with other gambling options, there’s an increase in people looking for ways to get a handle on their problem. The good news is there are more places to turn.
Weigele says, “The greater awareness of the availability of help and of interventions for individuals who have problems.”
In the last fiscal year the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline received more than 2,500 calls, and only a few months into this year nearly 14-hundred people called in for help.
“There’s going to be an initial, fairly significant rise in problem gambling, and then that’s going to drop some as people start to adjust to having gambling in their community,” Weigele explains.
Rolling the dice with a gambling addiction is serious.
“The worst cases are people who go to prison because they’ve embezzled money from an employer.” said Weigele
The state has a voluntary exclusion program that keeps gambling addicts from entering a casino or face possible arrest.
For help call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline 800-589-9966.