Be very cautious with gaming that is now available | News, Sports, Jobs

Every January 1st, most of us look forward with great anticipation to what the new year will bring.

We expect good health, exciting adventures, great love, newfound wealth and prosperity, and more.

What concerns us most this New Year’s holiday is the hope for quick wealth and prosperity. Ohio legalized sports betting today. While we acknowledge that a portion of our gambling proceeds will be donated to the Ohio Sports Game Profit Veterans Fund, the dangers of the game are also very real.

Ohio House Bill 29 went into effect today, allowing legalized and regulated sports gaming in the state through licensed online sportsbook operators or brick-and-mortar stores.

The bill set the licensing and regulatory framework and created Ohio’s sports betting lotteries operated through terminals at certain liquor-licensed establishments.

Indeed, the concept is highly anticipated by sports fans and those who like to dabble in gambling.

Sure, it can bring you thrills and quick cash, but be aware that sports betting can also be risky and can quickly spiral out of control, especially for the compulsive gambler.

This New Year’s Day, we encourage anyone looking to take advantage of Ohio’s new gambling laws to include realistic personal spending limits on their list of resolutions for 2023. And stick with it.

This is very important, especially since gambling is easily accessible here in our valley.

Hollywood Gaming, located at Mahoning Valley Racecourse in Austintown, has been granted approval for sports games, and several other valley businesses have approval for sports betting kiosks.

Phantom Fireworks Inc. also has a provisional license from the state to operate as a local sports game owner. A Youngstown-based fireworks vendor wants to operate a sportsbook location at the Coveli Center in downtown Youngstown.

All of this sounds very exciting for Ohio and our region, undeniably. Actually, yes.

Many are wondering how it will change our valley in the long run. It is to ask if it is possible to take away.

Gambling addiction counselors and experts advise compulsive gamblers to consult a health care provider or seek help from a mental health professional.

The Mayo Clinic offers recovery skills to help you resist compulsive gambling urges. Read them, and this New Year’s Day, if you’re facing a gambling addiction, pledge not to start gambling.

• Focus on your number one goal: not gambling.

• Tell yourself that gambling is too risky. One bet usually leads to another.

• Give yourself permission to seek help, as sheer willpower is not enough to overcome compulsive gambling. Ask family and friends to encourage you to follow your treatment plan.

• Recognize and avoid situations in which you may be tempted to gamble.

• Family members of people with compulsive gambling problems may benefit from counseling, even if the gambler does not want to participate in treatment.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the National Council on Problem Gambling operates a confidential 24/7 hotline and text line at 1-800-522-4700 .

The Ohio State for Responsible Gambling also provides assistance. You can inquire online at or by calling 1-800-589-9966.

May this new year be a good year. Be smart and be careful.

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