Cuyahoga County Title

Problem Gambling

Problem Gambling

Problem gambling–or gambling addiction–includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family or vocational pursuits. Problem gambling is a recognizable and treatable illness.

The essential features are increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, “chasing” losses, and loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting, serious, negative consequences.

In some cases, problem gambling can result in financial ruin, legal problems, loss of career and family, or even suicide. For more information on the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for gambling addiction, please see the DSM 5 at 

The ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County and other state and local organizations are committed to helping players be responsible. If you think that you or someone you care about might have a problem, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Hotline: 


Problem gambling is not limited to casinos. Other types of gambling includes bingo, sports betting, online gambling, horse racing, lottery, fantasy football and more.

Problem Gambling Facts

  • Problem gambling rates among teens and young adults have been shown to be 2-3 times that of adults.
  • Providing a financial bailout for compulsive gamblers may actually make the problem worse.
  • Gambling is not a way to solve financial problems.
  • Children of problem gamblers may be at higher risk for a broad range of physical and mental health and school-related problems.
  • Problem gamblers are at higher risk to attempt suicide and to face bankruptcy.
  • 25% of compulsive gamblers are women.
  • 73% of problem gamblers have an alcohol disorder.

Are you playing responsibly?

  • Have you borrowed money to gamble?
  • Do you spend lots of time thinking about gambling?
  • Are you restless and irritable when not gambling? 
  • Are you making larger dollar bets to increase your excitement?
  • Have you lied about how much time or money you have spent or lost gambling?
  • Do you gambling to escape uncomfortable or personal problems?
  • Have you gambled to escape uncomfortable or personal problems?
  • Have you neglected important responsibilities, such as work, school or family to gamble?
  • Do you have unpaid bills or increased debt because of gambling?  

Warning signs

  • Preoccupied with gambling and unable to stop
  • Bragging about gambling, exaggerating wins and minimizing losses
  • Restless and irritable when not gambling
  • Gambling to win back what was lost
  • Borrowing money for gambling
  • Lying to hide time spent gambling or unpaid debts
  • Frequent unexplained absences
  • Doing something illegal to get money for gambling
  • Jeopardizing a significant relationship or job by gambling  


Recovery Resources offers Problem Gambling Prevention Education programs to the community free of charge thanks to grants from the OhioMHAS (The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services) and the ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County. A Problem Gambling professional can come to your schools, agencies and organizations to educate your staff, students or clients about the effects of problem gambling and promote prevention tools.

Recovery Resources also provides 
professional problem gambling trainings.

The Cuyahoga Problem Gambling Coalition is composed of diverse stakeholders committed to ending problem gambling in our community. If you are interested in learning more about the coalition, or would like to join, please contact Ashley Hartman at Recovery Resources at or (216) 431-4131 ext. 1108.  

Ohio Casino Control Commission offers a Voluntary Exclusion Program – a change to ban oneself from all casinos in the state. 

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) provides help and information for people with gambling problems as well as their family and friends. 

Ohio for Responsible Gambling is an initiative aimed at promoting responsible gambling in Ohio. Four state agencies in Ohio are working together in this effort: The Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC), the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC), and The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). OhioMHAS serves at the resource partner for the new initiative and the lead agency responsible for prevention and treatment of problem gambling.

Ohio Lottery supports problem gambling prevention, awareness and treatment programs throughout the state. The Ohio Lottery provides funding to various treatment agencies to address problem gambling. 

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services serves as the authority expected to address problem and pathological gambling in Ohio. 

The National Council on Problem Gambling serves as the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.

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