An Ohio campaign is focused on promoting responsible gaming as the state gets set to launch legal sports betting on Jan. 1.
Ohio For Responsible Gambling has launched the Pause Before You Play campaign.
It is part of OFRG’s efforts to educate bettors on the harmful effects of problem gambling that can occur as Ohio sports betting gets started.
“In other states that preceded Ohio in legalizing sports betting, we’ve seen higher interest and more struggles with problem gambling,” Ohio Casino Control Commission director of operations and problem gambling services Amanda Blackford said in a release. “We want people to have fun and be responsible.”
Ohio sports betting structure
Ohio residents and visitors will be able to place bets online, at casinos and via lottery kiosks at local businesses.
A lottery spokesperson told Business Journal Daily that not all lottery kiosks will be ready by Jan. 1. The target is mid-January.
“The challenges of problem gambling go far beyond the person placing a bet,” Problem Gambling Network of Ohio executive director Derek Longmeier said. “Families, children, and businesses, all face consequences with a person’s gambling addiction.”
Regulators take aim at advertising
The OCCC asked in a recent memo that “all operators immediately review their advertising materials and ensure that all materials include an RG message and that the RG message is conspicuous.”
Particularly, the regulators identified messaging that was aimed at persons under 21.
OH problem gambling study
A 2017 Report on Problem Gambling Services said that one in 10 Ohioans who gamble are currently experiencing or are at risk of developing a problem (more than 900,000).
“The majority of Ohioans who gamble will stay within their limits,” Longmeier said. “As sports betting grows exponentially in 2023, it makes sense that we will see more challenges here in Ohio.”
A Problem Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741.