Frequently Asked Questions

Why did this happen to me/my family member?

Much like other addictions, some people are more susceptible to developing a gambling problem. You have taken the first step in dealing with the problem by seeking information about the problem so that you can change the current situation.

How many other people have this problem?

Research indicates that 1% of individuals who gamble will develop a pathological gambling problem. Another 2-3% of gamblers will become problem gamblers.

What kind of help is available?

State funded treatment for outpatient and residential treatment for problem gamblers is available.

Will treatment work?

Treatment will be successful to the extent that the problem gambler follows the treatment plan goals that are developed with their counselor. Outcome studies indicate treatment success rates of more than fifty percent.

What about treatment costs?

The State of Indiana provides treatment for individuals who lack the financial resources to pay for their own treatment.

What support system is there for problem gamblers and their families?

Support groups (Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon) exist in many communities to help gamblers and their families. Links to these organizations and their meetings are available on this web site.

What other things can a gambler do to stop gambling?

If the gambling problem is associated with casino gambling, there are programs developed by the casinos that allow gamblers to exclude themselves from a specific casino’s properties. This can be done by contacting the casino’s Responsible Gaming staff. In July of 2004 the Indiana Gaming Commission began its Voluntary Exclusion Program (VEP). This program allows gamblers to exclude themselves from all of the Indiana casinos. Gamblers can exclude themselves for one year, five years or life. About 3500 individuals have done so. There is a link to the VEP program on this web site. If the gambling problem involves Internet gambling, software such as (Gamblock) is available that blocks access to all Internet gambling sites. A link to this software is available on this web site.

What do I do first?

Whether you are the gambler or a family member/friend of the gambler, the first step is to call the Indiana Problem Gambling Help Line at (800) 994-8448 or text INGAMB to 53342. Your call will be answered by an individual trained to refer you to a State funded treatment provider and/or support group near you if it is determined that this is in your best interest and if you are in agreement with this. This help line receives about 5,000 calls each year. About 1200 of these calls result in referral to Indiana’s State supported problem gambling treatment providers and/or to other support services. All calls are confidential.