It is the last week of Responsible Gaming Education Month this year, and this week’s theme is about technology that can help in that. Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ohio for Responsible Gambling initiative and almost all bodies related to gambling are contributing – from creating online quizzes, through supporting responsible gambling apps, to helping people self-exclude, as well as supporting and educating friends and relatives of problem gamblers.
Ohio Contributing to Responsible Gaming Education Month
As part of Responsible Gaming Education Month (RGEM), Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (Ohio DMHAS) is imploring people to “Get Set Before You Bet” – a reference to the tagline of the beforeyoubet.org website. On the website, visitors can find a variety of resources to help them get more educated on the topic of problem gambling, including a quiz, aimed at assessing a person’s problem gambling risk level, a game called “A Day in the life of a responsible gambler”, and more.
The Statehouse News Bureau published a report on September 20, in which a problem gambling specialist with the Ohio DMHAS – Scott Anderson – was cited commenting on how problem gambling or gambling disorder is unique in that it’s probably the only addiction that seems as if it can offer the person suffering from it some sort of benefit – bit a return on their losses, a jackpot, or else. He says that people “get into debt” as a result of perceiving the potential winnings as “the answer to all their troubles.” However, the ugly side of this compulsive behavior is that often people with problem gambling are “hiding losses” and are not “completely honest” with how they are spending their time and finances.
Mr. Anderson also outlined how by “gambling with money that [the gambler] should be using for something else,” this addiction can start affecting the people close to the person, who’s suffering from problem gambling. Since September is also National Suicide Prevention Month, the problem gambling specialist also stressed that problem gambling has among the absolute highest rates of related suicides, so it’s important that those in close proximity and especially relatives of problem gamblers be aware of the signs.
Tools to Help Problem Gamblers
We saw the American Gaming Association (AGA) releasing a new edition of the Responsible Gaming Statutes and Regulations Guide as part of RGEM 2022 just at the beginning of the month. Every week of September has had a theme – the first week’s theme was “Empowering Customers to Play Responsibly”, followed by “Legal, Regulated Gaming Protects Players”, and then followed last week’s “Employees: The RG Frontline.” Closing up this first RGEM is this week’s “Advancing Responsible Gaming with Technology”.
The partnership between the Ohio DMHAS and Ohio’s “Ohio for Responsible Gambling” (ORG) initiative is what sits behind the beforeyoubet.org website. ORG has a number of other projects as well, partnering with the Ohio Casino Control Commission, the Ohio Lottery Commission, as well as the Ohio State Racing Commission.
All resources are aimed at helping people with problem gambling – be it with information, providing easier channels to seek help, or even targeting those close to people with problem gambling by providing them with the instruments to identify whether a close one or a relative might be suffering from this addiction. While the quiz might be helpful to someone who is doing a self-checkup, the “Tips & Education” part of the website can be a great tool to support the problem gambler not just on a personal level but also to create a more stable and well-informed environment around them. There’s also a source for helpful responsible gambling apps that can help set limits on the amount of money bet, lost, deposited into a betting account, or played within a single gambling session, as well as set break reminders. There are some that even provide a number of self-exclusion features, that can help problem gamblers limit gambling in that way, or even entirely avoid it as a whole.