BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — June 20, 2023
A recent survey conducted by Prevention Insights, a center within the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, has revealed that 89% of adults in Indiana engaged in some form of gambling over the past year. This figure is slightly higher than the national rate of 88%.
The survey aimed to assess the extent of gambling activities, the prevalence of problem gambling behaviors, and the awareness of problem gambling resources among Indiana adults. It sheds light on the impact of gambling on individuals, communities, and the state as a whole.
“With the expansion of gambling options over the years, including the recent inclusion of sports betting, anyone can now carry a gambling device in their hand: their phone,” said Mary Lay, operations director of Prevention Insights and program manager of the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program at IU. “The survey results are concerning, with one-third of surveyed Hoosiers participating in online gambling in the last year, and younger adults displaying a higher likelihood for this type of gambling. We will continue to monitor this trend to understand its impact on those experiencing gambling-related issues.”
The data gathered from the survey is crucial in planning prevention and awareness programs that are tailored to individuals and regions with the greatest need or highest risk. Indiana is among the few states that allocate a portion of gambling revenues to address problem gambling treatment needs.
In 2022, 3% of Indiana adults surveyed acknowledged having a gambling problem, but only 0.6% reported seeking treatment. The survey also revealed that just 38% of respondents were aware of the Indiana Problem Gambling Referral Line, a toll-free hotline available to assist gamblers in need of help.
Lay emphasized the importance of increasing awareness and education in this area. “Problem gambling is somewhat of a silent addiction. Unlike substances that cause immediate visible effects, the impact of gambling addiction is often unseen but just as serious. It can lead to financial debts, strained relationships, and unemployment. The impact on mental health is often a significant indicator that gambling is becoming problematic.”
Additional findings from the 2022 survey include:
- The lottery was the most popular form of gambling in Indiana, with 66.1% of respondents reporting participation in the past year.
- Casino gambling also proved popular, with 55% of Indiana adults surveyed stating they visited a casino for gambling purposes in the past year. Slot machines were the most frequently played game at casinos (16%).
- Hoosiers with incomes exceeding $100,000 were more likely to gamble on sports, although income was not a determining factor in the development of gambling problems.
- Respondents aged 35 to 54 were more prone to engaging in multiple gambling activities, such as online sports betting, video-based table games at casinos, and lottery-ticket vending machines.
The survey collected data from a random sample of Indiana residents aged 18 and older in November and December 2022. The responses were weighted to ensure proportional representation of Indiana’s adult population.
Prevention Insights plans to conduct this survey biennially. The research is funded by the Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction. Researchers anticipate that future surveys will enable better comparison of trends across different years, as the timing and questions of the survey have undergone changes.
For assistance with problem gambling, Indiana residents can contact the Indiana Problem Gambling Referral Line at 800-994-8448 or chat with a representative online. Individuals experiencing anxiety or other mental health concerns can dial 988 for immediate support.