An estimated 500,000 Ohioans are at risk of becoming problem gamblers. Governor John Kasich recently declared March as Ohio Problem Gambling Awareness Month to highlight the important work being done to prevent and treat problem gambling both in our communities and across the state.
With Ohioans now able to gamble at one of the state’s 11 casino and racino facilities, in addition to the Lottery or bingo – keeping gambling in perspective is essential. That is why the Ohio Casino Control Commission is working together with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio Lottery and the Ohio State Racing Commission to encourage dialogue at the community level and educate people about safe gambling practices and the treatment services available to those with a gambling problem.
One of these efforts ‐ “Be the 95%” – was launched last year. This statewide campaign highlights the fact that 95 percent of individuals who gamble do so responsibly – and provides information to help encourage healthy behaviors. Created with our partners in Ohio for Responsible Gambling, “Be the 95%” is based on public health science and is designed to prevent problem gambling and raise awareness of the resources available to those affected by gambling addiction.
The campaign is being featured on a number of platforms, including www.the95percent.org, which features tips on low‐risk gambling, provides warning signs of problem gambling, and offers a problem gambling screening feature.
For those who may be struggling with problem gambling, please know that help is available. Free counseling services are available to those who have been diagnosed with a gambling problem. Additionally, the Commission administers the Voluntary Exclusion Program, which enables a person to ban themselves from Ohio casinos for one year, five years, or their lifetime. Since its creation, the program has enrolled more than 2,000 individuals from 16 states and Canada.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1‐800‐589‐ 9966 to learn more about problem gambling and the treatment options available in your area.
Jo Ann Davidson
Chair, Ohio Casino Control Commission