SURVEY: Big slice of Lorain County’s population wrestles with gambling


Staff Report



About 28,254 Lorain County residents are problem gamblers or at risk of becoming so, according to an analysis released in late February.

More than 24,000 people across the state, including 800 here at home, responded to the Ohio Gambling Survey in 2016 and 2017. It explores trends in gambling addiction among adults over a four-year period since the opening of Ohio’s casinos and racetrack-based “racinos.”

The survey found that gambling is a problem for about 12 percent of Lorain County’s population. That number is roughly two percent higher than the state rate.

Other findings specific to Lorain County:

• African-American adults are twice as likely to be at-risk or problem gamblers than other races. Slightly more than a quarter said they wrestled with gambling habits.

• Among black men, the number was even higher — 30 percent said they are at risk or problem gamblers.

• Young adults (ages 18 to 24) had the highest rate of at-risk or problem gambling at 20.2 percent, followed by adults ages 25 to 44 at 13.5 percent.

• Of the at-risk or problem gamblers in Lorain County, more than 30 percent reported using alcohol or drugs while gambling in the prior 12 months.

The data was released by the Alcohol, Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County and The LCADA Way.

“This analysis helps us to tailor our local prevention and awareness-building efforts around problem and responsible gambling audiences,” said executive director Elaine Georgas. “We know that most people gamble a little, but it doesn’t need to be detrimental to themselves or their families.”

Ohio adults gamble in many different ways, including 50-50 raffles, bingo, casinos, keno, horse racing, scratch-off tickets, lottery tickets, and sports betting.

The Ohio Gambling Survey was sponsored by Ohio for Responsible Gambling, a partnership of the Ohio Commissions of Casino Control, Lottery and Racing; and OhioMHAS.

Visit www.beforeyoubet.org for tools and resources, including a “Take the Quiz” feature to evaluate your gambling activity on an at-risk scale. Nearly 30,000 Ohioans have taken the quiz to date.

If you need to talk to an expert, the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline is staffed around the block by trained referral specialists who can provide help in all areas of social service needs including counseling, financial assistance, and health services.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, contact The LCADA Way at 440-989-4900, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966, or visit www.beforeyoubet.org.

Staff Report