Ohio For Responsible Gambling is taking part in the national effort during American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Responsible Gaming Education Week 2021 (RGEW) to increase problem gambling awareness among gaming industry employees and customers.
AGA’s Responsible Gaming Education Week, taking place from September 19-25, educates consumers on responsible gameplay and highlights responsible gaming’s central role in gaming and sports betting.
Lori Criss, Director of Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, stated that RGEW provides an opportunity to offer education to employees of the gaming and hospitality industry, as well as highlight responsible gaming resources available to all Ohioans.
Criss commented: “Gambling is a source of entertainment for many, but it can be problematic for some. With so many enticing new ways to access gambling, we want to make sure Ohioans can identify common red flags for friends, families, and coworkers.”
Derek Longmeier, Executive Director of Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, declared that people with gambling problems have a 15 times higher risk of suicide and higher levels of drug and alcohol abuse. Problem gambling also impacts friends and families, with nine out of ten people impacted by someone’s problem gambling suffering their own social and emotional stress.
“Every Ohioan faces the consequences of problem gambling whether they know it or not,” he said.
With more forms of gambling on track towards becoming legal in Ohio, Criss noted it’s essential for people to know where to get help for those who might be struggling. Two campaigns have helped spread awareness:
- Ohio’s Before You Bet campaign earned national recognition for its awareness and prevention efforts. It features short quizzes to gauge problem gambling risk levels, a free community toolkit, ideas on setting limits, and links to get help if needed.
- Change The Game Ohio focuses on youth gambling and connecting parents, educators, childcare providers, and children to the resources available for prevention and treatment.
Longmeier highlighted the variety of options allowing bettors to self-exclude from gambling, including technology banning products like GamBan, GamBlock, or GAMSTOP to block access to online gambling providers. Ohioans can also exclude themselves from gambling locations in the state and from receiving a property’s mail and email advertising.
Anyone can visit www.beforeyoubet.org to access free tips and resources. Ohio’s Problem Gambling Helpline is available any time of day or night at 1-800-589-9966.