Make your home page

IU survey shows Hoosiers gambling above national rate

FILE - Slot machines are controlled by gamblers over the internet at the Hard Rock casino on Feb. 10, 2020, in Atlantic City, N.J. Panelists at a casino industry conference in Atlantic City on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, said there are several reasons why internet gambling has not spread beyond the six states where it is now authorized, but expects the online market to grow in coming years. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, FIle)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new survey from Prevention Insights at Indiana University reveals that almost 90% of Hoosier adults participated in some form of gambling in the past year.

Gambling became legal in the state of Indiana in 1989, where options were limited to lottery scratch-off tickets and draw games. Sports betting become legal in Indiana in September 2019.

The evolution of gambling from slot machines and lottery tickets to today’s mobile sports betting changed American culture, as anyone over the age of 18 can place their bets with just a cell phone.

According to the study, 89% of adults in Indiana participated in some form of gambling in the past year, which is slightly above the national rate of 88%. The data is used to plan prevention and awareness programs targeted toward people in Indiana who may have a high need for help or are at the highest risk for addiction.

Indiana is one of a few states that use a portion of the revenues produced by gambling activities to support efforts to address problem gambling treatment needs.

“With gambling expansions throughout the years, and most recently the inclusion of sports betting, anyone can carry a gambling device in their hand: their phone,” Mary Lay, operations director of Prevention Insights and program manager of the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program at IU said in a release.

Lay added, “With one-third of surveyed Hoosiers participating in some form of online gambling in the last year, and younger adults displaying a higher likelihood for this type of gambling, the numbers are concerning. We will continue to watch this trend to see how it impacts those reporting issues with gambling.”

In 2022, 3% of Indiana adults surveyed reported having a problem with gambling, but only 0.6% reported seeking treatment. The survey also revealed that only 38% of people had heard of the Indiana Problem Gambling Referral Line.

Prevention Insights is a center housed within the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington that strives to bring together research and practices to ensure that people and communities receive state-of-the-art prevention technology.

How to get help

Indiana’s Problem Gambling Referral Line is 800-994-8448, or residents can chat with a representative online. Those with anxiety or other mental health concerns can dial 988 for assistance.