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Experts discuss addiction as legalized sports betting kicks off in Ohio

Placing a wager on sports becomes legal in the state of Ohio on January 1, 2023

CLEVELAND — In two weeks, Ohioans will be able to legally place a wager on sports.

Before you rush to the ticket window, you should know the dangers associated with gambling.

"Once you do it as an ordinary habit, you know the way you reach for a cup of coffee in the morning, then you know that it's not a good sign," said  Richard Boyatzis, organizational behavior professor at Case Western Reserve University

JACK Entertainment Senior Vice President of Sports and Digital Gaming Adam Suliman told 3News the betJACK Sportsbook will have a dedicated team to help customers understand sports betting.

"We certainly expect customers are going to have questions," said Suliman.

The 'customer ambassadors' will assist with understanding the rules of the game they choose to place a wager on and there are pamphlets scattered across to sportsbook for more information.

JACK Entertainment also launched a betJACK Training Camp app to provide practice for sports betting for their customers. The app uses fake tokens, but will switch to real money for the new year.

"Within the mobile application we have a lot of resources that folks can use if they find themselves in trouble or they feel like they need to take a break," said Suliman.

Although betting on sports can be a rush, experts say it can lead to addiction.

"You start out just going for a little bit of a buzz and then all of the sudden you start to bet more because you want the buzz more," said Boyatzis. "Now, you're betting or placing bets to be able to feel even."

Cleveland Clinic describes a gambling addiction as "an uncontrollable desire for the rush of excitement of winning can lead to compulsive gambling." The Clinic adds that symptoms of a gambling addiction include needing to make bigger bets more often to achieve the rush of excitement, chasing losses and gambling when feeling anxious or agitated.

Boyatzis told 3News a responsible gambler allocates a certain amount of money to place wagers.

The betJACK Training Camp app also allows customers to adjust the setting to limit how much you view the app and how much money you spend.

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