Ohioans woke up New Year’s morning with a new entertainment option. A plethora of options for legalized sports betting now exist, under the watchful eyes of the Ohio Casino Control Commission and the Ohio Lottery Commission.
You’ve probably seen all the commercials by now. It looks fun — and it can be, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the family budget. Most commercials have a rushed mention about help for a “gambling problem” tucked away at the end so fast that if you blink you miss it. But one hit the nail on the head. Don’t gamble what you can’t afford to lose.
At ohio.gov/responsible-gambling there are plenty of tips for keeping it fun, and gambling responsibly. Set limits not just on your money, but on your time. Understand the risks. Never borrow to bet. Don’t chase your losses. Gamble with money set aside specifically for entertainment. And avoid mixing gambling with alcohol or other substances.
Another thing to keep in mind, if you win big, you will be taxed on that money. The online sportsbooks are keeping track.
Don’t let what is meant to be just a little bit of fun turn into a big problem. Keep it Fun Ohio has tools to help, such as a gambling expense calculator and of course the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966.
Stay smart and responsible, have fun, and if you find yourself in need of help, get it.