New Casino May Cause Gambling Problems

by Erika Brooks on October 2, 2012 at 4:50 am

Results of a new study released one week before the casino in Columbus opens show it may create problems for gambling addicts.

The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services has conducted a survey to provide a baseline so the state will know if the opening of the new casinos will increase the prevalence of gambling problems in Ohio.

"At this point, the prevalence is anywhere between 1 and 4 percent with an at risk or problem gambling which sounds like a really small percentage but when you look at the population of Ohio that’s anywhere around two-hundred thousand people or so," said Counselor at Muskingum Behavioral Health, Megan Daugherty.

Counselors agree the opening of a new casino could prove challenges for gambling addicts in the area due to it’s accessibility but they are braced for what may come and in the last year, training for gambling counselors has increased.

"Mainly drug and alcohol counseling out-patient facilities and such are preparing their staff to be able to provide the services that are necessary because certain credentials are needed and different trainings," said Daugherty.

In May casinos opened in the Toledo and Cleveland area, the Columbus casino will open Monday and in Cincinnati a fourth and final casino will begin operation in the spring.