HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsCalls to Problem Gambling Hotline Surge in Ohio Since January 1 Opening

Calls to Problem Gambling Hotline Surge in Ohio Since January 1 Opening

The sports betting boom has hit Ohio and despite the Buckeye State enjoying historic numbers, the rise in the number of phone calls to the Ohio problem gambling hotline has grown exponentially since the January 1 legalization and experts fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Image: Shutterstock

Numbers Nearly Double in one Month

According to executive director of Problem Gambling Network of Ohio Derek Longmeir, the network took in over twice as many calls in January than it had during December.

“We had just under 700 calls in December of 2022, and then comparing that to just a month later, to over 1,500, that certainly sports betting has a big impact”.

Ohio made history during the first two days of legalized sports betting and fell just shy of New York for unique GeoLocation checks during Super Bowl LVII. While state officials and sportsbook operators are encouraged by these early numbers, it could also be the tip of the iceberg as far as problem gambling cases in the Buckeye State.

“Looking at just the early numbers, Ohio is a big sports betting market, and so while I think there’s going to be a lot to learn, knowing what those impacts will be is still unclear,” said Longmeier. “But what is clear according to local addiction counselors, is that demand for their services is going up”.

Who are These New Problem Gamblers?

Traditionally, problem gamblers were stereotyped as middle-age white males but this hasn’t been so with the more recent Ohio cases, according to Maryhaven Gambling Intervention Program administrative Bruce Jones.

“I’m seeing a lot more younger folks coming in, mainly between mid-20’s, mid-30’s, but then I’m getting some folks coming in that are casino gamblers, and what’s really been surprising are the amount of people doing it [gambling] online,” said Jones.

Jones also attributes an uptick in the number of prospective clients he’s seen to the Ohio sports betting boom.

“I usually see maybe 15, 20… well now I’m seeing about 30 to 40,”

While the signs may vary depending on the case, Addiction.com offers a list of possible warning signs you or someone else may have a gambling problem:

Statistics of gambling addiction

Jones has some sage advice for Ohio sports bettors struggling with a possible gambling addiction who may try to fix this situation on their own to seek treatment immediately.

“Sometimes we might not even talk about gambling,” said Jones. “How are you doing today? Do you have any thoughts of harming yourself? I say it’s a symptom of something else that’s going on in someone’s life.”

Help for Ohio Problem Gamblers

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available for Ohio sports bettors:

  • Ohio Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-800-589-9966
  • National Problem Gambling Hotline: 1-800-522-4700

Ohio sportsbook offers


Bet365 Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
Caesars Second Chance Bet Up To $1000
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
DraftKings Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
BetRivers Second Chance Bet Up To $100
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
FanDuel Bet $5 Get $150 in Bonus Bets
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
BetMGM Second Chance Bet Up To $1500
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov
Betway No Welcome Offer
21+ and present in Ohio. Play responsibly. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-589-9966 or visit www.mha.ohio.gov