Statewide Gambling and Problem Gambling Needs Assessment

The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (IDHS/SUPR) is pleased to provide the first-ever assessment of problem gambling and service needs in the State of Illinois. Conducted in 2021, the assessment reports on the prevalence of different types of gambling in the state, prevalence of problem gambling among different groups, characteristics of people with problem gambling, availability of treatment and other services, and overall attitudes about gambling. While the majority of adults engage in responsible gambling behaviors, some experience significant impact on their economic, social, and mental well-being, developing problem gambling and gambling disorder.

Some key findings of the study are:

  • 3.8% of adult Illinoisans have a current gambling problem, and an additional 7.7% are at risk for developing a gambling problem (approximately 1.1 million Illinois residents).
  • Latinx (7.3%), Other race/Multiracial (4.1%) and Black (3.6%) Illinoisans appeared to have higher prevalence of problem gambling.
  • One in ten Illinoisans with problem gambling thought about or attempted suicide in the past year; one in three had done so in their lifetime.
  • Gambling at video gaming terminals and online sports betting showed significant growth over time.
  • In an average year, Illinoisans with problem gambling estimated that they spent a median of $16,750 on gambling.
  • Depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders were very common among Illinoisans with problem gambling.

The 250-page report includes 10 recommended strategies the State and partner stakeholders can take to address problem gambling in future years. The State of Illinois provides various intervention, treatment, and recovery resources throughout the state, including the Illinois Problem Gambling Helpline, a telephone and web resource with specialists trained in evidence-based approaches that help connect people with treatment and recovery support services.

If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling, contact the state’s Gambling Hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER, Find Help – We Know the Feeling, text: “ILGamb” to 53342, or Click Here for Chat.


View/download the report:

Executive Summary

Full Report

Chapter 1 – Introduction and Methods

Chapter 2 – Prevalence of Gambling in Illinois

Chapter 3 – Problem Gambling in Illinois

Chapter 4 – Mental Health, Substance Use, and Other Risk and Protective Factors

Chapter 5 – Attitudes and Perceptions of Gambling and Problem Gambling in Illinois

Chapter 6 – Problem Gambling Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery in Illinois

Chapter 7 – Recommendations

Chapter 8 – Appendices