Sports Betting Taxes Could Expand Ohio’s Problem Gambling Treatment Options

Written By Jake Garza on November 9, 2022
Ohio has fewer problem gambling treatment providers than other states

Gambling addiction is a treatable condition, and every state has responsible gambling resources available to help those in need.

Ohio has fewer problem gambling treatment providers compared to other nearby states. But fresh tax funding from Ohio sports betting could help expand the state’s list of treatment options.

With new forms of betting coming soon, it’s worth taking a look at the responsible gambling efforts in Ohio.

Problem gambling treatment providers in Ohio

Around 1% of adults in the U.S. have a severe gambling problem, according to the National Center For Responsible Gambling.

However, severe problems aren’t the only ones that exist. As many as 9% of young adults may be experiencing problems related to gambling.

Having treatment options available is an important step for people to find the help they need.

At least for now, Ohio doesn’t have as many problem gambling treatment providers available compared to its neighbors.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission has 10 endorsed treatment providers listed on its website. That’s far fewer than other nearby states with legal gambling options.

Indiana has 22 providers available, and Michigan has 36. Pennsylvania offers a whopping 63 problem gambling treatment providers.

Ohio is lagging behind when it comes to the number of treatment options, but that’s not so unexpected.

These other states already have sports betting up and running, so there’s more of an immediate need for those resources. Pennsylvania and Michigan also have online casinos, so it makes sense that those states would have more treatment options available.

Once Ohio sports betting finally launches, tax money will start flowing to help bridge the gap between Ohio and its neighbors.

Taxes for responsible gambling resources

Sending gamblers to treatment providers is only one of Ohio’s methods for fighting problem gambling.

Much like other states around the country, Ohio offers a litany of different programs, including:

  • A 24-hour problem gambling hotline (1-800-589-9966)
  • Gamblers anonymous meetings
  • Voluntary exclusion
  • Support for Gam-Anon
  • Problem gambling self assessments

Ohio will have some fresh cash for its programs once sports betting begins in January. That could add over $1 million per year to the state’s responsible gambling programs.

However, it’s hard to know exactly what the money will end up going toward. The Ohio Casino Control Commission did not respond to PlayOhio’s requests for more information about the state’s future plans for responsible gaming.

Since sports betting is still months away, the state likely doesn’t have any concrete plans put together yet.

Regardless, once the tax money is flowing next year, it could go a long way toward adding more resources to the state. Treatment providers are a great start, but they aren’t the only way to help promote responsible gambling.

Current Ohio responsible gambling programs

Ohio recently unveiled a new responsible gambling public service announcement called Pause Before You Play. The campaign encourages sports bettors to develop strategies for low-risk gambling ahead of time.

Some of the other entities involved in responsible gambling include the Lottery Commission and Casino Control Commission, which collaborate with the Ohio State Racing Commission and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on the Ohio for Responsible Gambling initiative, which offers numerous tips and resources online to help both avoid problem gambling and get help if needed.

The Lottery Commission and Casino Control Commission also have robust responsible gaming sections on their websites.

With additional funding for problem gambling outreach and programs, Ohio can expect additional providers to join the effort in due time.

Photo by playohio.com
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Staff Writer for PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois, PlayMichigan and PlayIndiana. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of all things Ohio gambling related.

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