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New Research: LGBTQ+ Adults are More At Risk for Problem Gambling

Published: October 16, 2023

Why are LGBTQ+ individuals at a higher risk for problem gambling or betting? Experts think negative treatment and mental health issues could be pushing people toward problem gambling. 

According to an article from Gambling News, one study surveyed 321 LGBTQ+ adults around the UK and found that 67.3 percent experienced some form of gambling harm, and 14.3 percent of respondents who gambled showed signs of problem gambling.

“The research found that LGBTQ+ people who experience distress caused by such life stressors are statistically more likely to experience gambling harms. Moreover, such individuals are likely to turn to gambling as a coping strategy,” a representative from the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) explained. It’s important for responsible gambling initiatives to provide resources for everyone, especially for members of more vulnerable communities, like the LGBTQ+ community. 

Signs of problem gambling aren’t always obvious. Familiarize yourself with the following warning signs to identify if you or someone you know could be struggling with a problem with gambling or betting. \

  • Borrowing money for gambling or betting
  • Lying about or hiding how much time or money is spent on gambling or betting
  • Withdrawing from relationships or hobbies
  • Feeling restless or irritable when not gambling or betting
  • Spending a lot of time gambling, thinking about, or planning to gamble or bet
  • Exaggerating wins and minimizing losses

In light of October being  National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, if you are experiencing some or all of these signs or if you’re struggling with problem gambling, it’s important to consult with a trained professional. For help call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. Trained and understanding professionals are standing by 24/7 to provide free and confidential support. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call, text, or chat the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline to reach a trained specialist who can offer help and support to Ohioans. 988 is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health related distress.

Are you a community partner looking for helpful resources during National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month? Visit the Pause Before You Play Rate Your Risk quiz, which takes only two minutes and can help individuals rate their risk level for problem gambling. 

The website also offers a wide range of free community toolkits. Download the resources you need to help remind members of your community to keep their betting responsible. You can also request  co-branded assets by filling out a request form

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