Can Gambling Be an Addiction?

Submitted by WHMHRB on Mon, 08/01/2022 - 1:15am

Gambling help MHRB

Gambling Addiction Impacts Everyone. 

The most thought of addictive behaviors includes alcohol and drug use. But in recent months, gambling has had a growing impact in the addictive behaviors realm. PR Newswire shared that for the fifth consecutive year, the number of calls to Ohio’s Gambling helpline has gone up.


Stacey Frohnapfel-Hasson, Prevention Chief, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services also noted, "There's a difference between responsible entertainment and potentially destructive behavior. Most Ohioans aren't aware of how many people are at risk in their communities."


Typically, betting included lottery tickets or time around a poker table, or even traveling to a nearby casino. But the recent passing of the sports betting bill has made gambling and addictive behaviors way more accessible, not only allowing Ohioans to gamble any time of day or night, enabling them to bet on any sport in any season, but they can do it all from the comfort of their own home - and it often disguises itself as entertainment.  


Frohnapfel-Hasson said that while the majority of gamblers make responsible choices, technology is making it easier for people to bet, and that can pose problems people may not be able to see. Individuals with gambling problems may also have higher risks of drug or alcohol use and mental health conditions, including thoughts of suicide.


Anazao Community Partners in Wooster, OH created a series of awareness videos highlighting the vicious cycle of addictive behaviors and how often one can lead to another one. Find those videos here.


In the meantime, read over the below warning signs and tips for responsible gambling. Anazao can help you put these into practice. Anazao is also available to help provide treatment plans, intervention programs, and intervention services. Contact them today to learn how these services can be developed individually.


2587 Back Orrville Road Wooster, Ohio 44691

(330) 264-9597 or (800) 721-9472


Common Warning Signs

  • Bragging about winning, exaggerating wins and/or minimizing losses.
  • Spending a lot of time gambling, thinking about or planning to gamble.
  • Restless or irritable when not gambling.
  • Borrowing for gambling.
  • Hiding time spent gambling or hiding bills and unpaid debts.
  • Lying about how much time or money is spent on gambling.


Tips for Responsible Gambling

  • Set limits on time and money.
  • Know risks before you bet.
  • Keep gambling a social activity.
  • Never borrow to play.
  • Don't chase your losses.
  • Bet only what you can afford to lose.
  • Gamble with money set aside for entertainment.
  • Never gamble when depressed or under stress.
  • Avoid mixing gambling with alcohol or other substances.


Wayne/Holmes Mental Health & Recovery Board

We aim to improve awareness of and access to mental health and addiction treatment and prevention services in Wayne & Holmes Counties. 

We provide leadership, support, and funding to community partners and agencies in the delivery of mental health and addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

Our agencies provide addiction treatment programs, mental health counseling, suicide prevention programming, and more! Experience you can trust.