Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A new gambling study released by the Iowa Department of Public Health estimates more than one-point-seven million adult Iowans gambled during the past 12 months.
Iowa Gambling Treatment program manager, Eric Preuss, says that’s up just a bit compared to the last survey three years ago.
Preuss says there is a common link between the increases in the number of people gambling.
Preuss says the number of people in the survey who said they were experiencing some symptoms of problem gambling was 13-point-six percent, a one percent increase compared to the 2015 survey. He says those who experienced those feelings also knew where to turn.
Although less than one percent of Iowans are classified as problem or pathological gamblers, Preuss says more than one in five adults say they have been impacted by the gambling behavior of a family member, friend, or someone else they know. He says this survey helps keep them on top of the issue, especially with the advent of legalized sports betting.
Preuss says symptoms of problem gambling include: being preoccupied with gambling, and/or restless or irritable when not gambling; secretive about gambling habits, and defensive when confronted; increasing bet amounts when gambling in order to achieve the desired excitement; trying unsuccessfully to control, cut back or stop gambling; gambling to escape problems; chasing losses with more gambling; committing crimes to finance gambling; jeopardizing or losing relationships, jobs, education or career opportunities because gambling; relying on others to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem can find out how to get help by visiting Your Life Iowa at: yourlifeiowa.org/gambling.
Photo Caption: Eric Preuss – Courtesy Radio Iowa