State to bankroll addiction treatment

Taxes on Ohio’s four casinos will pay for guaranteed treatment of bettors with verified gambling addictions.
Associated Press
Sep 21, 2013

 

Tracy Plouck, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, outlined the $4.9 million problemgambling response plan before the Ohio Casino Control Commission on Wednesday, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The commission regulates the casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo.

The treatment program is funded mostly from casino taxes.

The agency said 209 addicted gamblers were treated in the 2013 fiscal year out of about 5,900 screened by agencies statewide.

A 2012 study estimated that 250,000 Ohioans are problem gamblers or at risk of developing an addiction.

The state expects to allocate $3.8 million to treatment agencies in the next year. An additional $752,499 will be used for administration by the state agency, and $335,000 will go to the Ohio Lottery Commission for advertising and promotional campaigns.

For treatment and prevention, the state gave county boards almost $1.5 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, with the requirement that 60 percent be spent on prevention and 40 percent on treatment.

Rob Walgate, vice president of the conservative American Policy Roundtable, said the amount spent on treatment, which is important, is overshadowed by how much the state is making off gambling.

“Casinos need problem gamblers to make money. They need to get people hooked to what they’re selling,” he told the newspaper.

Officials at Hollywood Casino Columbus dispute that they benefit from problem gamblers. They recently pushed responsible gambling with a “Win By Saying When” campaign.

“We want to make sure folks enjoy us as an entertainment option, to come in, gamble responsibly and have a good time,” said Gary DeWitt, assistant general manager of the Hollywood Casino.

Comments

Simple Enough II

What a joke, someone will get rich off of this........I know atleast one person with a severe gambling problem, you know what the problem is, no one in the family will talk about it and that person acts like nothing is wrong.

Contango

Re: "The treatment program is funded mostly from casino taxes."

"Mostly"?

The casinos, plus state and local govts. that are profiting should fund it ALL.

dorothy gale

Wow, enabling the addiction that they will then pay to treat. What's wrong with this picture?!

Tool Box

What a joke! I can think of a hundred other places that this money would actually do good things for our economy!

grandmasgirl

It seems that no one is responsible for their actions. It is really getting to be old!!

Sandusksquach

Especially senior citizens what with their govt handouts and socialized healthcare!

donutshopguy

Does the government fund AA programs through state taxes on liquor ?