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Survey Finds 89% of Indiana Adults Engaged in Gambling in 2023

Survey Finds 89% of Indiana Adults Engaged in Gambling in 2023Since Indiana authorized sports betting in September 2021, the number of bettors in the state has considerably swelled. This new chapter in Indiana’s gambling industry has called for a closer examination by problem gambling experts and therapists within the state.

A recent survey conducted by Prevention Insights has revealed that 89% of the state’s adult population has participated in some form of gambling in 2023. This slightly exceeds the national average of 88%.

Prevention Insights is a non-profit organization set within the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington. Originally assisting in alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse, the center expanded its activities to include mental health, HIV prevention, and problem gambling.

Taxation of sports betting has positively impacted the state’s coffers, with more than $220 million in sports betting handle for 2023. The Indiana Gaming Commission has reported a monthly revenue of more than $53 million in January of the current year, surpassing the record of nearly $50 set just a month earlier.

Besides the positive impact of the industry on the state’s revenue, its ever-growing popularity has raised concerns about the addictive nature of gambling. The Star Press has spoken with Carrie Langin, a mental health therapist at Children First Center at Indiana University Bloomington. She has pointed to sports betting’s easy accessibility as a main contributing factor to developing addiction. The expert also underlined that “the anonymity of online gambling exacerbates issues of shame and secrecy, common traits of addiction.”

Experts Are Concerned About Sports Betting’s Accessibility to the Youth

Experts Are Concerned About Sports Betting’s Accessibility to the YouthMary Lay, Operations Director of Prevention Insights and Project Director of the Indiana Problem Gambling Awareness Program at Indiana University Bloomington, has also contributed her share of comments regarding Indiana’s sports betting industry, the volume of gambling advertisements and marketing campaigns, and their impact on the young generation.

As the expert explained, sports personalities and actors worshiped by the general public were the ones appearing in sports betting ads, thus increasing sports betting acceptance even more. She noted that addictions can be caused by various factors, including genetics and environment. Kids and adolescents playing video games can very easily transition to sports betting due to the element of guessing inherent to many games, according to her.

As long as gambling is seen as a form of entertainment and people wager within their budget, it “can still be fun”, she said. Lay added that the financial burden of problem gambling was not the most alarming consequence. The strain on one’s relationship with family members and close friends was what could exacerbate the problem even more.

In March of the current year, Paul Tonko, a New York congressman, introduced the SAFE Bet Act, aiming to impose limitations on online sports betting ads. Comparing the unrestricted rise of sports betting ads to a “public health crisis”, the politician underlined the importance of protecting vulnerable groups of society and the youth from the negative impact of gambling and related advertisements.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.