NCPG Affiliation & Position on Gambling
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.
Principles for Responsible Gaming & Gambling Legislation
Opportunities for gambling continue to increase throughout Ohio and nationally through both regulated and unregulated avenues. PGNO’s Principles for Responsible Gaming and Gambling Legislation outline minimum standards for new regulations and legislation that may be enacted to expand legalized and regulated forms of gambling in Ohio. The principles will help protect individuals, operators, and regulators by assisting the creation of reasonable efforts to mitigate harm and maximize effective resources for those impacted.
The 2017 Survey of At-Risk and Problem Gambling Prevalence Among Ohioans, conducted by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and released by Ohio Responsible Gambling, which includes the Ohio Lottery Commission and the Ohio Casino Control Commission, found that the prevalence of at-risk and problem gamblers have doubled since the four casinos and seven racinos have opened in Ohio.
Ohio has a history of collaboration when it comes to this issue. The gambling treatment field began in our state. Ohio has developed award-winning campaigns, drawn on national and international expertise, and tracked statewide and community-specific data regarding gambling prevalence, which includes: casinos, lottery, stocks, sports, and other avenues, like bingo and raffles. The behavioral health field and PGNO are working with state legislators to identify the kinds of regulations and consumer protections that could be put in place to address the continued evolution of gambling in Ohio.
As with other forms of gambling, there is a significant portion of the population who experience negative consequences as a result of gambling. It is incumbent upon our governmental bodies to help both operators and their customers by requiring reasonable regulations that will ensure the health and safety of our citizens. PGNO believes that the minimum standards, paired with efforts to combat illegal operations, and collaboration from regulators, operators, and prevention and treatment professionals will mitigate the harm caused by expanded gambling in Ohio.