Responsible Gambling in Ohio

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Responsible Gambling in Ohio - Help & Advice

Gambling is now legal in Ohio, which makes it critical to provide advice for responsible gambling and support for those battling gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-589-9966. It is available 24/7.

Below you will find information on responsible gambling in Ohio with resources and advice for those seeking help and additional information. 

Ohio Gambling Resources

Anyone in Ohio can access important information about how to gamble responsibly on the Ohio Lottery Commission’s Play Responsibly page. There is information on treatment programs, and gambling addiction FAQs like warning signs and how to gamble responsibly. 

If you would like to voluntarily exclude yourself from gambling, you can do so online at this link. You can ban yourself from gambling in Ohio for a period of one year, five years, or for life. This can preclude you from betting at casinos, racinos, and sports betting apps. 

Here are additional organizations and resources that can help with responsible gambling. 

Ohio Casino Control Commission

The OCCC regulates gambling in Ohio, provides licenses, and oversees the integrity of the games at casinos and racinos. They also have a responsible gambling page on their website, which provides useful information that includes: 

  • Information on how to identify someone with a gambling problem
  • Mental health resources to help people who have a gambling problem 
  • Phone numbers for state gambling helplines
  • Information on gambling addiction treatment facilities in Ohio 
  • More information on how to exclude voluntarily yourself from gambling 

Ohio for Responsible Gambling

This organization’s mission is to promote responsible gambling in Ohio and includes a live chat function on its website. It also provides tips on how to gamble responsibly, information on warning signs for those who may have a gambling problem, and treatment options to help someone dealing with gambling addiction. 

Problem Gambling Network of Ohio 

The PGN of Ohio states its mission as “providing leadership & innovation to enhance Ohio's problem gambling service system.” They have training programs to help people become qualified as a gambling disorder treatment expert as well as resources for those looking for treatment. 

National Gambling Addiction Resources

You can also find a wealth of national resources on gambling addiction online or over the phone. 

National Problem Gambling Helpline Network 

If you want to have a live audio or virtual chat with someone, the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network offers both. You can call them at 800-522-4700 or chat with them online using this link

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is one of the oldest organizations supporting gambling problems in the United States. They have myriad resources to help those dealing with gambling issues including a 20-question list designed to help identify if you or someone you know has a gambling problem. 

In Ohio, they have three helplines for people to call: 

  • Toledo: 419-327-9514
  • Youngstown: 330-505-5060
  • Cincinnati, Dayton, and other cities: 855-222-5542.


Gam-Anon is another resource for those seeking advice and guidance on responsible gambling. They provide a 12-step self-help program supported by other people who have been affected by gambling problems as well as helping organize meetings for gambling addiction support. 

Responsible gambling help & advice

What is responsible gambling?

Responsible gambling is an essential concept that involves gambling in a way that minimizes the risks associated with it for both you and your loved ones. It involves taking steps to ensure that gambling remains a form of entertainment rather than a problem that negatively affects one's life. Below you’ll find information that helps you better understand what responsible gambling is and tips for gamblers to be responsible.

Gambling risks

Gambling can lead to financial problems, mental health issues, relationship difficulties and work issues. Similar to other addictions, gambling addiction can impact every element of a person’s life. 

That is why it’s so important to be educated about gambling before you begin. This allows gamblers to make informed decisions and gamble in a responsible manner. 

Gambler guidelines

Setting and adhering to guidelines around gambling is a helpful way to prevent gambling addiction. It’s important to set rules for yourself 

Set a Budget

Before placing a bet, determine how much money you can afford to spend on gambling, and stick to that amount. Never gamble more than you can afford and don’t chase losses by betting more than you can afford. Never, under any circumstance, borrow money to gamble.

Manage Your Time

Set limits on the amount of time you spend gambling and take regular breaks. Avoid gambling when you are feeling emotional or stressed. This can lead to impulsive behavior.

Know the Game

Learn the rules and understand the odds before you start playing. Avoid playing games you do not understand, as this can lead to confusion and mistakes.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs

Alcohol and drugs can impair judgment and lead to impulsive behavior. Avoid gambling when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Take Care of Yourself

Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Engage in activities outside of gambling, such as spending time with family and friends or pursuing hobbies. Don’t skip these elements of life to gamble. 

Seek Help if Needed

If gambling is negatively affecting your life, seek help from a licensed therapist, counselor, or addiction specialist. There are many resources available for those struggling with gambling addiction, many of which are highlighted in the section above. Remember, it’s never too late to seek help.

Gambling provider's best practice

Every gambling operator, whether mobile or in-person, also has a responsibility to provide the safest conditions possible for gamblers. They should always follow strict best practices, which include but are not limited to: 

  • Educating bettors about responsible gambling practices and how to avoid developing a gambling addiction 
  • Provide helpful resources to educate gamblers on gambling addiction and best practices to curb gambling addiction 
  • Put time limits on how long a person gambles online and inform users of how long they’ve been gambling 
  • Do not allow people to gamble when they seem impaired by drugs or alcohol 
  • Do not allow underage gambling 

Problematic gambling warning signs

Problematic gambling can have a severe impact on a person's life and those around them. It is essential to be aware of the warning signs of problematic gambling and know how to help someone displaying these signs. Here are some signs to watch out for. 

Warning Signs

The first step to helping someone with problematic gambling is to know the warning signs. Some common warning signs of problematic gambling include:

  • Becoming defensive or secretive about gambling behavior
  • Negative changes in hygiene, diet or health 
  • Spending more money than they can afford to lose
  • Sudden, unexplained emotional swings like sadness or excitement 
  • Being unable to stop gambling even when they want to
  • Neglecting responsibilities, such as work or family obligations
  • Borrowing money or selling possessions to get money unexpectedly 
  • Lying about their gambling behavior
  • Feeling anxious or irritable when not gambling
  • Not paying their bills

Responsible Gambling importance 

If you suspect that someone you know may be struggling with problematic gambling, it is essential to start the conversation. Approach the person with empathy and concern, and avoid being judgmental. Express your worries and ask how they are feeling.

Listening is an important part of helping someone with problematic gambling. Allow the person to express their feelings and concerns without interrupting or judging. Avoid offering solutions or advice immediately and instead offer support and understanding.

Encourage the person to seek help from a licensed therapist, counselor, or addiction specialist. Offer to help them find resources or make appointments.

Let the person know that you are there to support them and help them through this difficult time. Encourage them to join support groups and attend counseling sessions. Be patient and understanding as they work through their addiction.

Gambling addiction is real and the best way to help someone dealing with that is to educate yourself and them and seek professional help when needed. 


Ohio Casinos FAQ

How many casinos are located in Ohio?

There are four retail casinos and seven racinos in Ohio.

Which Ohio cities have casinos?

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo have casinos in Ohio.

Which casino was the first to open in Ohio?

Horseshoe Cleveland, now known as JACK Cleveland Casino, became the first Ohio casino to open its doors. It opened on May 14, 2012.

Which casino was most recently opened in Ohio?

Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati opened on March 4, 2013, making it the most recent Ohio casino to start operation.

What is the largest casino in Ohio?

Hollywood Casino Columbus is the largest casino in Ohio, featuring 2150 gaming machines as well as 79 table games.

Are online casinos legal in Ohio?

No, online casinos are not currently legal in Ohio. Residents can wager on horse races online and sweepstakes and social casinos are legal, but online casinos are not.

Are there plans to legalize online casinos in Ohio?

While no legislation is currently pending to legalize online casinos, the success of the recent legalization of sports gambling could prompt Ohio lawmakers to reconsider.

Is it legal to play online poker in Ohio?

It is not legal to play real-money online poker in Ohio. Residents can play poker in-person at one of the state’s four retail casinos.

Is there a plan to legalize online poker in the future?

Similar to online casino legislation, the success of sports gambling could cause lawmakers to revisit the issue but there is no active plan to legalize online poker in Ohio.

Do I pay taxes on any gambling winnings I may receive in Ohio?

Yes, you are responsible for disclosing winnings on your individual Form 1040. If you win $5,000 or more at any Ohio casino, the casino will automatically withhold 24% of your winnings in accordance with federal tax law.