From the Ohio Problem Gambling Network
2023 is a new year and with it comes a big change for Ohio—the launch of legal sports betting. Not only is this the largest expansion of legal gambling in state history, it also marks the largest simultaneous launch of sports betting in the nation.
Sports betting is a popular form of gambling, and it can be a fun and exciting way to engage with sports. In addition to casinos and racinos, Ohioans will now be able to place a bet on their favorite team at professional league stadiums, on their phones, and even at some bars, restaurants, and grocery stores.
While many who gamble can do so without problem, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) is reminding Ohioans that gambling is not without its risks and to stay within their financial means if they choose to play bet.
“Sports betting can be fast-paced, so it’s essential to go into it with a game plan and to stick to it,” said Derek Longmeier, Executive Director. “This may include setting limits on how much money you spend, how often you place bets, and how much time is spent on gambling.”
In preparation for the launch of sports betting, Ohio’s statewide responsible gambling campaign, If You Gamble, Get Set Before You Bet, is encouraging those who bet to “pause” before they play. The campaign offers education materials and tips on how to keep your gambling fun and under control.
PGNO is also spreading awareness of problem gambling, a type of behavioral addiction that is characterized by an inability to control one’s gambling habits.
“We know from our state gambling survey data that about 1-in-4 sports bettors are at-risk of developing or have a gambling problem,” said Longmeier. “As opportunities to gamble become more accessible, we expect to see increases in rates of problem gambling.”
People with a gambling problem may continue gambling even when it causes negative consequences in their lives, including financial difficulties, relationship issues, or problems fulfilling work or personal responsibilities.
There are several warning signs that may indicate a problem with gambling, which include:
- Thinking about gambling a lot and planning for future gambling sessions
- Feeling unable to stop gambling, even when it is causing problems
- Needing to gamble larger amount of money to achieve the desired level of excitement
- Feeling irritable or restless when unable to gamble
- Continuing to gamble to win back lost money
- Gambling to cope with negative feeling
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above warning signs, it may be worth seeking help. Pathways of Central Ohio can link you to local resources simply by dialing 211 or by texting your zip code to 898211. You can also visit www.playitsafeohio.org for more resources.