Long before sports gambling became legal in Iowa, those in charge of gambling treatment programs were making plans to handle an expected increase in calls for assistance.
Manager of the state’s gambling treatment program, Eric Preuss, explained regulators needed to take into account new players, especially younger ones.
"Now we have more Iowans participating in a legal way and getting the information, whether it's on their smart phone where they're seeing the information about how to get help, or responsible gaming techniques and tools that they can use to help keep the activity enjoyable for themseleves," he said.
Many of Iowa’s casinos introduced sports gambling in August. When they did, they were equipped with brand new marketing materials offering several avenues if gambling becomes a problem. Preuss said prior to the rollout of sports betting, his office worked with the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to make sure information about problem gambling assistance was easy to find. That includes cellphone aps and numerous social media options.