How Ohio Sports Betting Law Will Approach Problem Gambling

Sports betting is legal in Ohio, and excitement continues to build toward its eventual launch within the state’s borders. The optimism is warranted, but the potential pitfalls that come with legalized gambling must be treated seriously. And thus, it’s important to understand how Ohio sports betting law will approach problem gambling.

While the term may explain itself, “problem gambling” is defined by the National Council on Problem Gambling as all gambling behavior or gambling patterns that negatively impact one’s personal, family, or professional pursuits.

The NCPG recommends five core principles to promote responsible gambling and prevent problem gambling. In addition to those principles, Ohio law outlines further steps that it will take on this front.

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NCPG: Five Core Responsible Gaming Principles

Keith Whyte, Executive Director of National Council on Problem Gambling, presented the NCPG’s five principles recommended to states that have legalized sports betting:

  • Mandating responsible gaming measures for sportsbooks
  • Assigning a regulatory agency to oversee sports betting
  • Setting a minimum age for sports betting
  • Allocating 1% of sports betting revenue to problem gambling intervention
  • Conducting ongoing surveys to track problem gambling rates

The top three principles are relatively standard among legal sports betting states. The final two, however, are not necessarily the norm throughout the industry. Ohio’s state legislature includes these two final two recommendations within its laws.

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How Ohio Sports Betting Law Approaches Problem Gambling

States can address problem gambling through prevention and response. Ohio is taking the extra steps to address problem gambling on both fronts. The Ohio Casino Control Commission will regulate the state’s sports betting industry. The OCCC will also bear the responsibility of ensuring Ohio sportsbooks follow responsible gaming measures. Among those measures is a minimum sports betting age of 21.

Additionally, in accordance with House Bill 29, state universities may request anonymous gaming data for research purposes. Not only will this help improve the state’s gaming practices overall, but it will provide valuable insight into ways Ohio can improve state-funded programs promoting responsible gambling.

As far as generating that revenue to address problem gambling and promote intervention, Ohio will collect a 10 percent tax on gambling revenue. Ninety-eight percent will go toward education with the remaining two percent earmarked for responsible gambling programs.

There are a lot of positives that figure to come in the wake of Ohio’s legalization and eventual launch of sports betting. However, it’s encouraging that Ohio sports betting law addresses the risk of problem gambling that could eventually arise.

About the Author

Craig Williams

Craig Williams is a Charlotte-based sportswriter who has worked professionally in the gaming, fantasy, and sports business industries. He’s an avid fantasy football player, managing over 100 leagues across multiple formats. When he’s not pouring over Vegas odds and statistics, he’s indulging in soccer and enjoys anything from LigaMX to Champions League.