Building a network of support for those impacted by gambling through collaboration, education, and research.
We have a responsibility that as gambling is expanded, we promote responsible gambling principles and provide ample treatment services for those negatively affected by gambling. We achieve this by working with state agencies, regulators, and operators to continually ensure a cohesive system for minimizing harm and growing Ohio's gambling treatment workforce though trainings and professional development opportunities.
PGNO is an affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and does not take a position for or against legalized gambling. As we’ve learned from our state gambling surveys, increased access to gambling results in increased rates of problem gambling. Expanded gambling exposes a new audience to gambling, which will result in an increased demand for prevention, intervention, and treatment services. While we maintain a neutral stance regarding gambling, it is our responsibility to advocate for those who are negatively impacted by gambling and ensure any gambling or gambling expansion includes consumer protections to mitigate harm. Click here to learn more about our principles for responsible gambling.
Our history stretches back to the origin of gambling disorder treatment at the Brecksville, Ohio Veteran’s Administration hospital in 1972, where Dr. Robert Custer first began treating gambling disorder as a behavioral disorder. His clinic quickly grew, and in 1984, the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling, a volunteer-led organization, was created to support the efforts of the Brecksville VA clinic. In 1992, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) held their national conference in Cleveland, leading to the affiliation of the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling with NCPG.
During the late 1990s, the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling received finances from the Ohio Lottery to be the primary provider of problem gambling counselor training in Ohio. Beginning in 2006, the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling underwent a series of transformational changes, including an official name change to our name today—Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO).
Following the passing of House Bill 386 in 2012, PGNO became an advocate for proper safeguards in policy relating to problem gambling and serves as an advisor to the Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services. In an era of expanding gambling, PGNO’s role has greatly increased to provide support to individuals, families, communities, and professionals.