December 20, 2022 3 min read


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Ohio Professor Tackles Gambling Addiction with $1M in Grants

Josh Grubbs, an associate professor at the Bowling Green State University’s Department of Psychology, has been awarded more than $1 million in grants to study gambling in the United States.

Professor Grubbs specializes in behavioral addiction now embarks on a new journey to better understand problem gambling in sports and help form adequate policies to tackle gambling-related harm.

Digging Deeper into Sports Gambling and Understanding the Problem

The grants received by Grubbs include close to $402,000 which will be used to study sports betting behaviors, awarded by the Sports Wagering Research Fund. His work could have a broader impact not just on Ohio, which is preparing to go live with sports gambling on January 1, 2023, but also on other states in the country that have passed sports gambling laws since 2018.

To help address any problems that may derive from sports gambling, though, Grubbs argues that sports bettors form a “unique subgroup” of gamblers who need to be understood better in order to ensure that they are offered adequate help and protection. He elaborated, cited by the Toledo Blade:

For the most part, it’s mostly young, educated men with disposable income who gamble on sports, which is a different demographic than most other gamblers.

Josh Grubbs, associate professor, Bowling Green State University’s Department of Psychology

Grubbs has already done enough research to be able to spot the markers of gambling addiction in young people, describing it as a simple case of people chasing their losses to recoup a loss. In fact, this behavior is the simplest way to determine whether someone is an actual gambling addict, argues Grubbs.

“Do you chase your losses and try to win back what you lost,” he asked cited by the media. To conduct his research into sports betting behavior, Grubbs is using 2,800 Americans surveyed by YouGov.

He began collecting data in March this year but will continue to track behavior over the next year to better understand sports betting and what risk factors need to be flagged as early symptoms of problem gambling.

Fantasy Leagues, Esports, and Ohio’s Own Take on the Issue

Grubbs is similarly keen to understand the role of technology in how gambling behavior is formed and see how betting behavior changes. Interestingly, Grubbs has already drawn some conclusions that help better understand different types of betting and gambling behavior.

For one, he argues that fantasy sports leagues that have upfront fees and only pay once at the end of the season are not really correlated to gambling addiction. However, any type of fantasy contest that invites quick bets and payouts are risk factors and could lead to gambling addiction, Grubbs’ current findings claim.

He also takes a look at esports betting, a vertical that is slowly gaining regulated momentum in different states in the United States, including New Jersey and Nevada. Bets on esports can actually be linked to problem gambling as well. However, Grubbs is optimistic about what is next for the state of Ohio.

He argues that the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio has the means necessary to treat and prevent addiction and is among the best equipped in the United States.


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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