Ohio's "Be the 95%" Problem Gambling Awareness Campaign Sweeps Awards

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has announced that Ohio’s “Be the 95%” campaign has won all three campaign award categories for the upcoming July 13-16, 2016 conference. “Be the 95%” and the campaign website, www.the95percent.org, have won the Public Awareness Award, Social Media Award, and Website Award.

“For one campaign to win all three categories is unprecedented, and reflects the success of a great partnership like Ohio for Responsible Gaming that truly exceeds the sum of the individual component agencies,” NCPG Executive Director Keith Whyte said. “Our vision is to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling. This campaign represents a fantastic model for other states to follow to reduce the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.”

The campaign was designed by Columbus agency Origo Branding to appeal to a broad range of Ohio audiences with messages targeted toward the influencers of gamblers, such as moms, dads, spouses, siblings and friends. Marketing segments are aimed directly at the gambler him or herself, such as during March Madness season. The goal is to bring awareness and education on responsible and problem gambling, and to offer resources for help for those who need it.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) Director Tracy Plouck explained, “These national awards are a testament to the participatory relationship we have with the Casino Control and Lottery Commissions, as well as with the behavioral health system as a whole. All of their help during research, creative, and testing of the campaign resulted in ‘Be the 95%.’“

Ohio Lottery Director Dennis Berg added, “The Ohio Lottery has supported problem gambling outreach for more than 40 years, and we’re proud of the collaborative work now being done through Ohio for Responsible Gambling. The awards for the ‘Be the 95%’ campaign reflect the joint effort we’re utilizing to address the issue statewide.”

“These awards – and the success of ‘Be the 95%’ - are the direct result of Ohio’s unique approach to coordinating responsible gambling efforts by the Casino Control Commission, Ohio Lottery, and OhioMHAS,” said Jo Ann Davidson, Chair of the Ohio Casino Control Commission. “We are grateful that so many others involved in preventing problem gambling have taken note of our success and are interested in replicating ‘Be the 95%’ in their own communities.”

The campaign spreads the message, “If YOU gamble, be the 95% of people who gamble responsibly.” Based on results of the 2012 Ohio Gambling Survey, of Ohioans who gamble, 95% gamble responsibly. A call-to-action urges Ohioans to visit the website and take the quiz.

The quiz is a quick nine-question interactive tool that provides a measurement of whether the participant has no problem with gambling, or is at low to high risk of problem gambling behaviors. Nearly 7,000 people have taken the web-based quiz.

Statewide prevention partner Drug Free Action Alliance coordinates the campaign as a grantee for OhioMHAS. Funding from agency partners the Casino Control and Lottery Commissions supports the creation and marketing of the campaign to get the word out. At the community level, dozens of County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Boards and service provider agencies are using the resources in the online Community Toolkit to further spread the information.

To learn more, visit www.the95percent.org