Iowa is soon to become the 11th state to launch legal sports betting operations this week. However, amidst gambling expansion, gambling addiction has also been on the rise in the state.
A study conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) found that nearly 14 percent of Iowa gamblers are considered “at-risk” players.
The report, titled Gambling Attitudes and Behaviors: A 2018 Survey of Adult Iowans, estimates more than 1.7 million people, or about three-fourths of the adult population within the state, have gambled at least once during in the past one year.
The figures revealed in the IDPH report also confirm that the number of gamblers at risk has increased since 2015. A 2015 study found that 68.1 percent of Iowans had gambled in the last year of which 12.6 percent were considered to be at risk of gambling addiction.
According to the IDPH, the people who experience some symptoms of problem gambling, such as: preoccupation with gambling, hiding gambling habits, increasingly larger bets, failed attempts to reduce the frequency of gambling, using gambling as an escape, committing crimes to finance betting, risking relationships, jobs, education or career opportunities due to gambling and relying on others to help with a financial situation caused by their gambling are the gamblers at risk.
Iowa casino are all set to launch sports betting operations on Thursday this week.