Calls to Ohio Gambling Hotline Increased 55% in 2023

Lift the telephone receiver by hand

Ohio’s problem gambling hotline received 55% more calls last year following the introduction of legal sports betting. [Image:]

The number of times people contacted Ohio’s problem gambling helpline in 2023 increased by 55% compared to the previous year. According to the Ohio for Responsible Gambling organization, the total number of calls in the 12-month period reached 10,637, an increase from 6,835 in 2022. Legal sports betting was introduced in the state on January 1, 2023.

Other states experienced the same trend after legal sports betting was introduced

Michael Buzzelli, deputy director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, acknowledged that an increase in the number of calls is to be expected as other states experienced the same trend after legal sports betting was introduced. Still, he noted that “such a dramatic increase is surprising” and that a lot of work still needs to be done to create a safer environment for bettors.

A new study also highlights that problem gambling rates in Ohio have tripled since 2012, mirroring a national trend. The study, conducted by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in collaboration with Ohio for Responsible Gambling, found that more than 1.8 million residents fell into an at-risk category.


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