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    ‘Horrendous:’ College students among Ohio problem gambling spike since sports betting legalization

    The following story was broadcast by WCMH-TV NBC4.

    By: Eric Halperin
    Aired: June 23, 2023

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – About six months into legal sports betting in Ohio, those who help people struggling with gambling addiction are seeing an increased need for their services.

    The most recent numbers from the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) show the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline received 754 contacts in May; this is in comparison to 523 last May, when legal sports betting was not live.

    “Devastation,” said Bruce Jones, administrative coordinator for Gambling Intervention Program at Maryhaven. “With a gambler, sports betting or any gambler, they start chasing their losses. So they might be up on some of their sports bets and then lose, and then try to catch up and it just progresses. A destructive spiral out of control and because a lot of the times their family members or their spouses, they don’t know the extent of the gambling, only the gambler knows. So by the time they come for help, there’s a lot of damage done.”

    Jones said part of the problem is how accessible sports betting is.

    “I think it all looked good on paper when they decided to legalize the sports betting, but now that it’s here, I think we’ll see a lot more unfortunately negative pieces to the sports betting,” he said.

    Read the entire story here.