Ohio For Responsible Gambling (ORG) has initiated a new program for state residents in anticipation of the upcoming regulated market opening. The program, Pause Before You Play, focuses on educating Ohio residents about the importance of safe gambling and playing responsibly.
Sports betting in Ohio will launch January 1, 2023. State lawmakers passed House Bill 29 toward the end of 2021, setting statewide legalized sports betting in motion.
Pause Before You Play derives from Get Set Before You Bet, another program ORG launched in an effort to educate Ohio players that has won awards for its success.
Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Executive Director, Derek Longmeier, defined the new program as a guide to problem gambling early detection and signs of a potential issue.
He commented: "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."
Longmeier went on to list signs concerned friends and loved ones should watch for in connection with gambling addiction. He said certain signs include anxious or agitated behavior, a sudden decrease in work performance and extreme mood swings.
Other signs pointing to a potential addiction are isolation or withdrawing from social situations, lying or concealing how much money and time someone uses to gamble and using funds purposed for food and rent to gamble.
Ohio Casino Control Commission Director of Operations and Problem Gambling Services Amanda Blackford stressed the importance of having programs in place because of betting trends and concerns about problem gambling in other states.
She said: "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."