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Gambling addiction concerns as sportsbetting is legalized in Ohio

Ohio sports betting news

Residents of the state of Ohio were allowed to legally place bets on their favorite sports activities on January 1, 2023. While the state stands to receive considerable financial benefits from the new law, it could also result in significantly more gambling addictions among the citizens of Ohio.

A variety of ways to place sports bets legally was recently made available in the state, including using apps or kiosks or playing inside venues like the Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway and Hard Rock Sportsbook and Cincinnati, which started operations on Monday.

A study turned in by an Ohio Legislative Service Commission stated that in the first full fiscal year of legalizing sports betting in the state, a 10% tax on the activity’s net revenue could amount to $24 million in total. Two percent of the sum will be channeled into assisting problem gambling in the state, while the remaining 98% will go into private and public K-12 schools.

Governor Mike DeWine explained that with the introduction of legal sports betting in Ohio, the companies would likely begin advertising in a bid to bring customers to their doors. This would significantly increase the gambling issue in the state and create addictions where none previously existed.

“We know that as you increase advertising and as you watch these companies try to get customers, which is what we expect them to do, you’re going to see more people who maybe didn’t have a gambling problem before. Now they do have a gambling problem.” Gov. DeWine said.

DeWine revealed that although he acknowledged the gambling problem that could result from legalizing sports betting in Ohio, he did not regret signing the bill. He stated that the responsibility fell to the relevant bodies to monitor the activity and ensure the sports betting operators adhere to the regulations.

“This is inevitable that we have this in Ohio. But we have now an obligation to monitor it and to make sure it is, in fact, working and also to make sure that these companies comply with the law,” the governor said.

According to the executive director of Ohio’s Problem Gambling Network, Derek Longmeier, the state had the most significant single launch of sports betting amongst other states. He disclosed that the magnitude of the launch has prompted some concern, but they were looking at “all the options to engage.”

When asked how a problem gambler can be discovered by their friend or family, Longmeier encouraged them to be exceedingly attentive to anyone who seemed to be mainly preoccupied with wagering.

“Be really good listeners if people seem to be preoccupied with gambling. If they’re talking about financial problems that they’re having when there was really nothing else that you know of that’s going on, that those financial problems would come in,” the executive director said.

A number of newly opened sports betting venues have demonstrated their support for responsible gaming, one of which is Hollywood Gaming. The operator, located at Dayton Raceway, was one of the first brick-and-mortar venues to offer sports betting in Ohio. The counters of Hollywood Gaming are littered with responsible gaming brochures where the hotline for the Ohio Problem Gaming is visible.

The sportsbook manager of Hollywood Dayton, Dave Schleter, said, “We want people to have a good time, but we also realize that we need to be there for those that need a little help.”

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