Ohio problem gambling organizations should reach out to the bars, restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores and other businesses hosting sports betting kiosks to encourage adherence to responsible gambling guidelines.
That was the central message of the Nov. 21 webinar, “Get Engaged: Working with Sports Betting Operators & Hosts,” hosted by the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio.
A continuing education opportunity for professionals in the state, PGNO’s “Ready, Get Set, Go: A Journey Toward Responsible Sports Betting in Ohio” webinar series has offered an overview of what the Ohio sports betting landscape will look like.
The series places an emphasis on problem gambling prevention, safeguards and regulations.
The Nov. 21 webinar focused on ways to encourage responsible gambling standards at local businesses that host sports betting kiosks.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission has already licensed more than 800 businesses to host kiosks. When sports betting goes live across the state on Jan. 1, 2023, bettors will be able to use the machines everywhere from the neighborhood grocery store to the corner tavern.
Kiosk hosts and responsible gambling
Speakers at the Nov. 21 webinar included representatives from the Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services.
The groups shared their strategies for working with local businesses through the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition (MCPC).
The MCPC previously launched a program called Retailers Care, which works with local Montgomery County retailers to encourage them to limit the amount of tobacco, alcohol, and lottery (TAL) advertisements in stores. The idea is to reduce access to TAL products, particularly for underage customers.
The Montgomery County Prevention Coalition is currently working to extend Retailers Care to cover sports betting kiosk hosts.
From those plans, the MCPC representatives shared some ways community organizations and prevention specialists could provide support to retailers hosting sports betting kiosks.
- Create responsible gambling signage for stores (including refrigerator magnets, coasters, table signage, digital signage for TVs and carryout containers and pizza boxes)
- Provide “We Card” signs to hang up next to kiosks
- Offer training and resources for staff members
When businesses decide to participate in Retailers Care, the MCPC suggested that local organizations could reward them by creating badges to place in their windows and offering social media and other advertising that shouts them out as being responsible retailers.
Problem gambling safeguards for sports betting kiosks
The Nov. 21 webinar also featured Jimmie Hicks III, deputy director of responsible gambling at the Ohio Lottery Commission. The lottery is in charge of regulating the kiosk side of the state’s sports betting business.
Hicks III applauded MCPC’s initiatives and said that many of the same things they’re encouraging retailers to do are in the Ohio Lottery’s “terms and conditions” for those wanting to host lottery and sports betting machines.
“We really want to make sure that retailers out there aren’t marketing or advertising in any way that creates an irresponsible environment. We want to make sure that if there is a retailer out there that is not fostering that responsible environment, we want to work with fellow agencies and coalitions to make sure we can get those retailers on the right path.”
Hicks III outlined some of the things the Ohio Lottery is doing to ensure that responsible gaming is front and center at the retailers hosting sports betting kiosks.
- When getting a license, proprietors have to agree to marketing, advertising and operating standards, including prominent responsible gaming messaging
- The Lottery reviews marketing plans to make sure there isn’t deceptive messaging like “risk-free” offers
- All bet slips will feature the problem gambling helpline phone numbers
- Maximum amount that gamblers can bet per week at kiosks is $700
The Ohio Lottery also collaborates with the Ohio Casino Control Commission, which offers its own set of free responsible gambling resources online.