Indiana Must Address Problem Gambling Concerns
Indiana’s gambling industry has grown significantly during the last two decades and today gamblers have multiple options in the state which include the lottery, casinos, video gaming, horse racing and charity gaming. There are also talks that Indiana might soon join the list of other states that are pushing forward with sports betting legislation.
While all this is good news for gambling operators, there have also been serious concerns surrounding problem gambling. Challenges arising from problem gambling are not going to be resolved without a lot of effort on the state’s part.
One of the biggest steps the state’s Gaming Commission is taking to address the issue of problem gambling is to set up the Indiana Problem Gambling Help website. Visitors to the website will see a list of warning signs and be able to take a quiz to check if they are problem gamblers. The website also lists various state and national resources that can help those suffering from a gambling addiction.
The site is not the only way the state is reaching out to problem gamblers. Ads are being shown to raise awareness of the issue across various platforms. These ads are being displayed in 40 counties in areas that are close to a casino. Many lawmakers hope that this will be enough to stem the tide of problem gambling.
Indiana already requires 25 percent of all gaming revenue to go to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), which has a Division of Mental Health. The funding will help greatly in addressing and treating addiction and problem gambling.
In addition to the Problem Gambling Help website, the FSSA maintains its own website on problem gambling. Visitors can contact a phone number to get the help they need and even resort to live chat to consult with experts on their condition.
According to The National Council on Problem Gambling, one percent of US adults are pathological gamblers. That is over two million people in the country. Up to six million more people can be considered problem gamblers.
Indiana was recently rocked by the news that a police officer was caught stealing to fund his gambling habit. Officer Larry LaFlower was caught and sentenced for stealing $200,000 from a local Fraternal Order of Police lodge. This is just the latest in a string of high-profile gambling addictions that have led to crimes in the state.
These stats are alarming and Indiana wants to address these issues before they get out of control.