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Problem Gambling Awareness Month underway as Ohio reports $1.1 billion in sports bets placed in January

The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported that more than $1.1 billion was wagered on sports in January.

CLEVELAND — As Ohio reported initial results from legalized sports betting in January, the Problem Gambling Awareness campaign kicks off in the month of March.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission reported that more than $1.1 billion was wagered in January.

"Gambling for the majority of folks is a fun, you know, responsible entertainment activity," said Michael Buzzelli from the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio. "But, there are individuals that are negatively, and severely negatively impacted by it."

JACK Casino in downtown Cleveland reported the second most in-person wagers, which totaled more than $3.5 million. The Ohio Casino Control Commission says the vast majority of sports bets were placed online or with a mobile app.

"Phone calls have absolutely amped up," said Buzzelli. 

In January, the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio received three times as many phone calls to their help line opposed to a month prior.

Legalized sports gambling brought the state of Ohio more than $200 million, but Jessica Franks and the Ohio Casino Control Commission continue to push responsible gaming.

"We have our pause before you play campaign which encourages people to set limits," said Franks. 

In Ohio, there are 16 mobile sports betting operators and most of them allow you to limit how much you view the app and how much you can wager.

"If you're agitated, if you're anxious, if you're stressed instead of being passionate and excited about the game that may be a sign that it's gone too far," said Buzzelli.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission told 3News that they will release revenue reports related to sports betting at the end of each month.

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