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Mission & History

Providing leadership and innovation to enhance Ohio’s problem gambling service system through collaboration, advocacy, and support.

As legal gambling expands, it is our duty to advocate for responsible gambling and ample support services for those impacted by gambling. PGNO achieves this by working with state agencies, behavioral health professionals, regulators, and operators to continually ensure a cohesive gambling service system.

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. 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 Veteran's Administration Hospital located in Cleveland, Ohio, where Dr. Robert Custer first began treating gambling disorder. In 1984, the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling, a volunteer-led organization, was created to support the efforts of the Brecksville VA clinic. 

Over the years, the Ohio Council on Problem Gambling underwent a series of transformational changes, including a name change—Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO). In an era of expanding gambling, our role has greatly increased to provide support to individuals, families, communities, and professionals.