Gambling and sports betting are intended as forms of entertainment, but if they evolve beyond that and become problematic, it can lead to serious consequences. Simply put, any gambling that causes problems in your personal or professional life is problem gambling.
Responsible gambling is a concept that promotes safe, regulated, and legal gambling experiences while minimizing the risk of harm to individuals, families, and communities. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, an adage that can certainly apply to gambling.
This page will cover various aspects of responsible gambling in Ohio, including how to identify a problem, resources available to help individuals gamble responsibly, tools to set limits, and self-exclusion options.
Signs of Problem Gambling
There are quite a few “red flags” for problem gambling behavior. They include:
- Daydreaming about gambling or gambling “methods”
- Needing to bet more money to get the feeling of excitement
- Gambling money you shouldn’t (ie: any money not explicitly set aside for “fun”, money you’re not willing to lose)
- Stopping your gambling sessions makes you feel irritable, anxious, or annoyed
- Breaking the law in order to gamble or finance gambling
- Borrowing money to gamble
- “Chasing losses”: trying to recoup lost money by betting more money
- Lying to friends, family members, coworkers about how much you gamble
However, perhaps the biggest and best indicator that you’re gambling too much is if you have ever tried to stop or cut back your gambling, but you weren’t able to do so. In addiction circles, this is called acting “without your own permission”.
Responsible Gambling Resources in Ohio
Ohio has a problem gambling helpline, which is the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. This helpline offers confidential assistance and referrals to local resources for those who are struggling with gambling addiction or related issues. The helpline, where you can also give yourself a voluntary exclusion or set other limits, can be reached at:
- online at https://www.pgnohio.org/
- visit https://timeoutohio.com/ information on self-exlcusion
Users call also call the national hotline 1-800-GAMBLER or visit ncpgambling.org.
Setting Gambling Limits
Ohio sportsbooks and other in-state gambling entities provide various tools that can help individuals set limits to their gambling activities. These tools include deposit limits, time limits, wager limits, and spend limits, all of which are good ways of limiting a user’s access to gambling sites. Each sportsbook in Ohio will offers users access to these tools from within their account settings.
Deposit limits allow individuals to set a maximum amount of money they can deposit into their accounts within a specific time frame. This can be a helpful tool for individuals who are worried about overspending. Deposit limits essentially cap the total amount of money that you can bet.
Time limits allow individuals to set a specific amount of time they can spend gambling within a certain time frame. This can be useful for individuals who are worried about losing track of time while gambling. For example, if you’re spending too much time looking at lines or making bets, you can restrict yourself to just 15 minutes of access per day, or something similar.
If you’re interested in learning about self-exclusion and limits like this, check out https://timeoutohio.com/.
Wager limits allow individuals to set a maximum amount they can bet on any single game or event. This can help prevent individuals from placing large bets that they may not be able to afford, which is a big red flag for problem gambling.
For example, if you typically wager about $10 per bet but occasionally get the urge to go bigger – a wager limit will keep this in check by preventing you from placing a wager of more than the pre-set amount.
Spend limits allow individuals to set a maximum amount of money they can spend on gambling within a set timeframe. This can help prevent individuals from overspending and getting into financial trouble.
Self-Exclusion for Ohio Gambling
Self-exclusion is a voluntary program that allows individuals to “ban” themselves from gambling at Ohio casinos, racinos, and sportsbooks for a period of time, usually ranging from one year to a lifetime. This can be an effective tool for individuals who feel they have lost control of their gambling and want to take a break.
To participate in the self-exclusion program in Ohio, individuals can visit the Ohio Casino Control Commission’s website at https://timeoutohio.com/ or call 1-614-387-5858.
National Responsible Gambling Resources
There are various national resources available to individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction or related issues. These resources are available throughout the country, and are not specifically targeting audiences in Ohio.
National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)
The NCPG is a national organization that provides resources and support for individuals affected by problem gambling. Their helpline can be reached at 1-800-522-4700, and you can also visit their website at https://www.ncpgambling.org/.
GA is a self-help group for individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction, following the Alcoholics Anonymous model of sharing, support, and steps.
They offer meetings and support groups in various locations across the country. You can find more information about GA and locate a meeting near you on their website at https://www.gamblersanonymous.org/.
Gam-Anon is a self-help group for family members and loved ones of individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction. They provide support and resources to help individuals cope with the impact of gambling on their lives. You can find more information about Gam-Anon and locate a meeting near you on their website at https://www.gam-anon.org/.
GamTalk is a free online forum for individuals affected by problem gambling. It provides a safe and supportive environment where individuals can connect with others who are going through similar experiences and share advice and support. You can access GamTalk on their website at https://www.gamtalk.org/.
It’s important to remember that gambling should always be done responsibly, and individuals should seek help if they feel they are losing control. There are resources available in Ohio and nationally to help individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction or related issues. If you or a loved one is noticing one of the problem gambling signs above, it’s time to get help.