Ohio problem gambling helpline reports 55% increase in calls during 2023

January 10, 2024
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The state legalized sports betting one year ago.

The Ohio for Responsible Gambling (ORG) organization has released recent statistics regarding usage of the state’s problem gambling helpline.

During the first year of regulated sports betting in the Buckeye State, the helpline reported that calls have increased by 55%. The helpline logged 10,637 calls during 2023.

According to the report, calls have been on the rise monthly. Calls during December nearly doubled when compared to activity during this time last year.

During December alone, 1,013 calls came into the helpline.

Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Associate Director Michael Buzzelli said the organization expected these results and noted that he believes this indicates more efforts to encourage responsible gambling are necessary.

He commented, "While we knew calls would increase and anticipated this due to the increases seen in other states already operating sports betting, such a dramatic increase was surprising and lets us know there is a lot of work still to be done for responsible gambling advocates statewide.”

Buzzelli went on to note that Ohio is following national trends when it comes to issues with problem gambling in demographics that include Women over 50, teenagers, minorities and with those who are not in relationships.

Sports betting in Ohio went live January 1, 2023, after state lawmakers passed House Bill 29. Since the market’s opening, the Buckeye State has required that 2% of its tax revenue is to be used for a “problem sports gambling fund.”

As of 2022, 15 states, along with the District of Columbia have laws on the books to set aside portions of their sports betting revenue for problem gambling services, according to the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts-Amhurst.


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