When Betting Stops Being Fun, Seek Help From Problem Gambling Resources In Indiana

Posted on October 31, 2019 - Last Updated on November 1, 2019

While gambling problems for people in any state can be devastating, there’s no reason for residents of the Hoosier State to face them alone. The Indiana problem gambling protocols offer a wealth of resources comparable to any others around the country.

The available programs range from an exclusion program to support groups. Most importantly for Indianans, the resources are easily accessible and free of charge.

Indiana problem gambling protocol details

For many afflicted with gambling problems, recognizing the need for help is the first step. Indiana provides an online self-assessment quiz for that purpose.

There is also a hotline Indiana residents can call to assess their situation and get a referral for treatment, if necessary. That line is staffed around the clock.

The state government also staffs the Indiana Council on Problem Gambling. Its office in Indianapolis is open to the public and can provide in-person assistance in many ways.

For those who would benefit from face-to-face treatment but don’t live near the state capitol, the National Council on Problem Gambling has access to a database of treatment options that are more local. Perhaps the most effective treatment for gambling problems, however, is limiting access.

Indiana takes care of that with a self-exclusion program. Like many other states’ programs, a potential weakness is that only the people with gambling problems can register.

Once an individual is registered, some of the onus shifts onto the gaming operators, however. They become responsible for identifying individuals on the exclusion list and removing them from the premises. Other states’ programs work in similar ways.

How Indiana’s resources compare to other states’ programs

One of the most prevalent gaming states in the nation is New Jersey. Like Indiana, New Jersey gamblers enjoy casinos, off-track betting parlors, “racinos” and sports betting in both online and retail forms.

People in New Jersey also have access to legal online slots and table games. Despite that, most people in the Garden State game responsibly because of the state’s protocols.

New Jersey also has a self-exclusion program. Like Indiana, there are several different terms for which participants may sign up, ranging from a year to a lifetime.

New Jersey’s program offers greater convenience for participants, however. Residents of the Garden State may complete the registration online, provided they supply the appropriate identification.

In Indiana, the registration has to be completed in person. The Indiana Gaming Commission does allow participants to register at any licensed gaming facility or treatment center, however.

New Jersey also limits how much someone can spend on gambling, in addition to a total ban. In Indiana, it’s an all-or-nothing proposition on self-exclusion.

Indiana’s treatment options, such as in-person counseling, are comparable. The Garden State does offer more remote counseling options like text support and GamTalk, an open chat room for people with gambling problems.

All those treatment options are at least partially funded by tax dollars in New Jersey. Indiana is much the same way, as all gaming license holders pay $500,000 each year to fund problem gambling resources.

Where Indiana currently lags behind other states

Perhaps the greatest difference between Indiana and New Jersey are the regulations on gaming facilities themselves with respect to problem gambling.

Outside of the requirements to enforce self-exclusion lists and pay into the problem gambling fund, the only other stipulation is that casinos, OTBs, and racetracks prominently display signage featuring phone numbers for problem gambling resources and information on exclusion programs near their entrances.

Indiana lags behind on its requirements for online operators like sportsbooks in comparison to other states.

While the operators display relevant information on their apps and sites voluntarily, the IGC has yet to draft rules requiring them to do so.

This is largely because online sports betting is really the first foray into internet gambling for the Hoosier State and that in and of itself is in its infancy. As the IGC becomes seasoned in this regard, the regulations should mature.

For the most part, the resources available to combat and treat gambling problems in the Hoosier State are on par with the most robust around the nation.

As the gaming industry in Indiana continues to mature, the programs should grow right along with it. In the end, the state and casinos both want anyone with a problem to get the help they need and Indiana has made that help accessible.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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