Ohio is due to launch sports gambling on Sunday, January 1, 2023, but the state is also keen to ensure that it does its best to protect consumers. This includes the launch of a new dedicated campaign by Ohio For Responsible Gambling.
The program that gets underway is called Pause Before You Play, and it’s based on the Get Set Before You Bet problem gambling education program previously led by Ohio For Responsible Gambling.
Ohio Sets Out to Tackle Problem Gambling Ahead of Betting Launch
Commenting on this program, Ohio Casino Control Commission director of operations and problem gambling services, Amanda Blackford, said that the new initiative will focus on the responsible play while factoring in all the nuances of sports gambling.
The structure of sports gambling in Ohio makes it very easy for people to place bets in real-time and accelerate what concerned observers argue could be “catastrophic losses.” Blackford further added:
In other states that preceded Ohio in legalizing sports betting, we’ve seen higher interest and more struggles with problem gambling. We want people to have fun and be responsible.
Ohio Casino Control Commission director of operations and problem gambling services, Amanda Blackford
Blackford is not alone in hoping that Ohio can start the fight against problem gambling on the right foot. Problem Gambling Network of Ohio executive director Derek Longmeier was similarly pleased with the initiative and hailed its potential long-term successes. He added:
The challenges of problem gambling go far beyond the person placing a bet. Families, children, and businesses, all face consequences with a person’s gambling addiction.
Problem Gambling Network of Ohio executive director Derek Longmeier
The current campaigns by Ohio are inspired by an evidence-based approach with sports gamblers and casino gamblers at the highest risk of developing an addiction. A study dated back to 2017 put the chance of developing a gambling problem as a result of casinos or sports at 24% and 24.3% respectively.
In other words, sports gambling is actually far more likely to end up leading to a problem with gambling after all. “The majority of Ohioans who gamble will stay within their limits,” Longmeier acknowledged. Yet it’s those who won’t who would need the most help. Ohio already has set up several helplines to help tackle the issue, including the Problem Gambling Helpline which is available 24/7 at 1-800-589-9966 or by texting 4HOPE to 741741.