Ohio sees spike in calls to problem gambling hotline

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The legalization of sports betting in January has tripled the number of calls to the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline, officials said.

“Based on January 2022 to January 2023, those numbers have tripled,” said Derek Longmeyer, executive director of Ohio’s Problem Gambling Network. “We were expecting an increase in call volume, but it was stronger than expected.”

Longmeyer said data reports show a connection between an increase in phone calls and the legalization of sports betting.

“If you look at the growth from just after January through 2023, you see a monthly increase in call volume. Even in December, we were around 600, and in January we were close to 1,500.” he said. “Sports betting is definitely a major factor.”

January was a shift from previous records, as the organization saw for the first time a pattern of younger demographics calling at higher levels.

But Longmeyer said the organization’s mission remains the same despite the change. It’s about helping people struggling with problem gambling and building networks of support through collaboration, education and research.

“People are asking for help with their gambling,” Longmeyer said. “It is our responsibility to work with prevention practitioners and clinicians, and with self-help communities such as Gamblers Anonymous and other groups, to ensure that any needs that may arise are met. is.”

Gamblers Anonymous range from closed (only those who have or believe they have a problem with gambling are eligible) to open (which may include the gambler’s spouse, family and friends). We offer a variety of meeting options. ).You can find GA meetings in your area online here.

According to Longmeier, one of the clearest ways to recognize problem gambling is when it is no longer enjoyable or a source of entertainment for users. He said you should be able to stick to your budget, whether it’s time or money to budget.

“Certainly we won’t be going back to recoup our losses,” he said. “For loved ones, just be a good listener and if someone seems addicted to gambling, have a conversation and see if their statements contain warning signs. ”

If you are struggling with problem gambling, the first step to get help is to call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966.

For more information about the organization and the resources it offers, visit their website. here.

https://www.wkbn.com/news/ohio/ohio-sees-spike-in-calls-to-problem-gambling-hotline/ Ohio sees spike in calls to problem gambling hotline

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