May 8, 2023 3 min read


Ohio Gambling Hotline Urges Players to “Take Time and Think”

Legalization of sports gambling in Ohio has brought on some serious questions about the state’s ability to cope with the surge of new gamblers

The main issue that Ohio faces today is the influx of not just new gamblers, but also those that seek help because of struggling to cope with their habits – this latter group’s numbers have been raising at a threatening pace, argues the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio which receives calls on the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline.

Ohio Call to Gambling Hotlines More Often in 2023

According to the helpline, there has been an “explosion” in the number of people seeking help over the past months, which is an indicator that more needs to be done in addressing the influx of gamblers who need help and promoting safe and responsible gambling practices to the larger public.

According to the hotline’s associate director, Michael Buzzelli, the calls to the hotline have tripled to 1,500, and this is tied to the rollout of sports betting. The majority of sports bets are now placed online, which makes it very easy for people to place a wager. Buzzelli had other criticism to offer as well:

With micro-betting, because there’s no stopping, you can just continue to bet, and continue to play. You can bet on balls and strikes which means you can place a bet every fifteen seconds. That’s vastly different than what sports betting looked like five, ten, or 15 years ago.

Problem Gambling Hotline of Ohio associate director, Michael Buzzelli

According to Buzzelli players need to turn to some of the programs already running and trying to ensure that consumers are safe. He urges caution on the part of consumers as well and has suggested to sports bettors to also consider the Before You Bet campaign, which is designed to help Ohioans to make sure they understand the activity fully.

Taking a Moment to Think about Sports Betting

The campaign advocates for a more cautious approach to gambling, which involves players making decisions based on reflection. In other words, players are advised to take a moment, pause, and think if they really want to place a bet or whether the amount, they are placing is reasonable. Buzzelli similarly cautions about the dangers of spiralling into problem gambling.

This means that people would resort to secretive behavior, pursue gambling relentlessly and borrow, hide, or steal money in order to fund their habit, impacting relationships and hurting loved ones in the process. Buzzelli recommends to Ohioans discontinue betting if they feel that the activity is leading to anxiety and rather focus on their love for the sport than the pursuit of turning a profit. In the meantime, Problem Gambling Network of Ohio continues to experience a surge in calls.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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