As the launch of Ohio sports betting nears, excitement is mounting throughout the state. Gambling proponents are eager to take advantage of the new opportunity, while responsible gaming advocates are warning about the potential for addiction and other problems. The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) has expressed concerns that the legalization of sports betting could lead to an increase in gambling problems across the state.
Wide-Spread Access to Sports Betting
The Ohio Casino and Control commission already granted more than 500 sports betting licenses which give bettors numerous options to wager on their favorite teams. This shows that Oato is in a good pace as it prepared for the 2023 launch, but Jess Stewart, PGNO vice president is cautious about the recent developments.
While PNGO is not against legalized sports betting, Stewart said that the massive expansion of the gaming landscape should also come with knowledge about gambling problems.
“It’s not just racinos and casinos. It’s going to be in bars, it’s going to be in restaurants, it’s going to be in grocery stores…It’s also available on your phone 24/7,” Stewart said.
On the other hand, Michael Buzzelli, PGN Associate Director told News 5:
“because of things like phone apps and the ability to bet on every pitch in a baseball game or every down in a football game, people can start to lose track as to how much time is passing, how much money is actually leaving their wallets.”
Signs of Gambling Problems
Stewart emphasized that a gambling problem is a “mental health disease”. He added that it is not just alcohol or drug addiction, gambling can also be something that you’ll lose yourself and do not know when is the time to leave.
Gambling problems are shouldered in misconception according to Stewart. He said that gambling addiction can also be seen if you are still gambling with the funds that should have been for groceries or other utilities.
Here are some of the signs that your gambling activity is going out of hand.
- Restlessness when not gambling
- Using money for gambling instead of necessities like food or rent.
- Exaggerating gaming wins and ignoring losses
- Poor work performance
- Asking for loans to cover gambling losses
Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline
Problem gambling can be a very serious and often under-addressed issue. This is why Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-589-9966) is available 24/7 to provide resources for those experiencing problems or concerned loved ones who need help with their gambling addiction to find treatment options within the state that works best according to them specifically.
It also provides information on other suicide prevention hotlines across America including the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number 988 which connects callers seeking assistance immediately while also being trained by professionals knowledgeable about how sport wagering-related loss could drive thoughts towards self-harm.