The Ohio Gambling Hotline has seen a significant increase in calls in the first year since the launch of legal sports betting in the state. According to Michael Buzzelli, Associate Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, the number of calls was expected to rise as it has in other states where sports betting became legal. However, the magnitude of the increase was surprising, indicating the need for a safer gambling environment.
A recent study conducted by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in collaboration with Ohio for Responsible Gambling, revealed that the rate of problem gambling in Ohio has tripled since 2012. This trend is consistent with a national increase in problem gambling.
The study found that over 1.8 million Ohio residents are classified as being at-risk for developing gambling problems. This data is a cause for concern and highlights the need for increased efforts to promote responsible gambling practices and provide support for those who may be experiencing gambling-related issues.
The rise in hotline calls and the troubling statistics from the study have raised concerns about the potential negative impact of legalized sports betting in Ohio. While sports betting can be an enjoyable and entertaining activity for many, it is important to address the risks associated with problem gambling and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and address these issues.
The surge in hotline calls and the findings of the study underscore the importance of responsible gambling initiatives and the need for ongoing efforts to minimize the potential harm associated with gambling. As Ohio continues to navigate the world of legal sports betting, it will be crucial to prioritize the well-being of residents and ensure that resources are available to support those affected by problem gambling.