New Study Prompts Illinois To Increase Problem Gambling Resources

Written By Jake Garza on July 20, 2022 - Last Updated on March 13, 2023
Problem Gambling Study reveals risks for Illinois residents

Illinois is taking new steps to help prevent problem gambling in the state. The changes are coming in response to the Department of Human Service’s statewide study.

That report placed new emphasis on the importance of responsible gambling, and the state seems to be taking notice.

Results of problem gambling study

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) began to study the habits of citizens as more forms of gambling became commonplace in the state. This was the first survey of its kind to ever take place in the Land of Lincoln.

The IDHS released its findings from the study last month. Here’s a quick look at a few of the key findings:

  • Approximately 3.8% of adults in Illinois have a gambling problem
  • About 7.7% of Illinois adults are at risk of developing a gambling problem
  • 68% of adults said they’ve gambled at some point in the past year
  • Lottery games are the most common option for gambling in Illinois

Breaking that down by population, that means that about 383,000 Illinois residents currently have a gambling problem. Additionally, an extra 760,000 gamblers are at risk of eventually developing a problem.

The IDHS presented its data to the Illinois Gaming Board last month. Thankfully, the state is already ahead of the curve when it comes to preparing for gambling expansion.

New Illinois resources

As gambling expansion continues in Illinois, the problem gambling needs of the state’s citizens are also likely to increase.

Illinois has trained over 200 clinicians to provide gambling disorder treatment in the past two years. That number will be increasing in 2023.

The state has a fresh $10 million on the books for the IDHS’s upcoming budget. Laura Garcia, the director of the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery, says that the group is already exploring a number of ways to tackle problem gambling.

“We are using these findings to develop strategies to increase awareness about problem gambling; support for responsible gambling; and expand prevention, treatment, and recovery services throughout the state.”

Adding new resources to help encourage responsible gambling is a great step for a state with such a huge gaming presence.

However, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there are already resources available to help.

Illinois residents can call 1-800-GAMBLER or text “GAMBLER” to 833234 at any time. That can help put you in touch with support specialists who are available to help 24/7.

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