More gambling and gambling problems in Iowa

Study commissioned by Iowa Department of Public Health.

Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:22 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa – A new study says more Iowans are gambling and more are “at-risk” of gambling problems.

“Gambling Attitudes and Behaviors: A 2018 Survey of Adult Iowans” says 73.8% of Iowans gambled during 2018, with 13.6% experiencing some symptoms of problem gambling. Those are increases from 68.1% and 12.6% in 2015.

The report, prepared by the University of Northern Iowa Center for Social and Behavioral Research, includes a companion document titled Sports Betting and Fantasy Sports, which found about 9% of adult Iowans either bet on sports or played fantasy sports. In this combined group, 23% were classified as at-risk gamblers.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says symptoms of problem gambling include:

• Preoccupied or 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

To see the entire “Gambling Attitudes and Behaviors: A 2018 Survey of Adult Iowans” report, click here.

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