With a slew of app-based sports betting options coming available in Ohio next month, cases of gambling addiction are expected to rise. But the risks are not contained only to casinos and sports betting apps.
According to the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO), lottery scratch-off tickets have been shown to present a possible gateway to other gambling activities.
That’s why the Ohio Lottery has joined the PGNO and other organizations to participate in the Gift Responsibly campaign this holiday season reminding gift givers that lottery tickets shouldn’t be given to people under 18.
Early exposure to gambling is a risk factor
According to the PGNO, lottery products can be a risk factor at very early ages.
“Research shows that early exposure to gambling increases the likelihood of developing a gambling disorder as an adult. For children, this often comes in the form of some kind of lottery product, given by an adult who is likely unaware of the associated risks.”
A younger and mostly male demographic is most at risk to develop problem gambling habits, and early exposure to gambling can be a risk factor. According to the PGNO, children who gamble before the age of 12 are at four times greater risk to develop a gambling problem later in life.
The Gift Responsibly campaign is presented by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors at McGill University.
Ohio Lottery committed to Ohio responsible gambling efforts
The Ohio Lottery joins over 100 organizations and lotteries worldwide in making a commitment to spread the message this year. Ohio is participating at the highest level of commitment for state lotteries, “Lottery Level 3.” This level of participation requires state lotteries take the following actions (from ncpgambling.org):
- Register as a participant of the 2022 campaign
- Press release or media placement
- 11+ social media messages posted (promoting responsible gambling/appropriate age for lottery play/youth gambling stats/parental awareness tips)
- Retailer training/messaging on youth gambling
- Targeted print and/or paid digital ads advising parents to “Gift Responsibly” and/or “Lottery Tickets are Not for Children”
- Commercial (TV, radio, streaming) advising parents against purchasing lottery tickets as gifts for kids
- Digital advertising/pre-roll
- Complete post-campaign survey
Joining the Gift Responsibly campaign is the latest of Ohio’s efforts to increase responsible gambling messaging. With the advent of sports betting apps attracting new gamblers at younger ages, new messaging focuses on these age groups.
The “Change the Game Ohio” campaign shines a light on the various types of gambling children are often exposed to, helping parents stop youth gambling before it starts.
Ohio for Responsible Gambling added the “Pause Before You Play” campaign this year to complement its “Get Set Before You Bet” messaging. The new ads target men ages 18-24 and reach potential gamblers on TV, radio, online and on college campuses and sports stadiums.
In Ohio, problem gambling treatment is available at little or no cost. Call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline 24/7 at 1-800-589-9966 or visit gamblinghelpohio.org.