By Thom Fladung, Hennes Communications
On January 1, sports gambling became legal in Ohio. The ringing of virtual cash registers has been deafening.
Ohio led the nation on opening weekend, with 11.3 million online sports wagering transactions – 2 million more than New York, the nation’s top market, according to Bet Ohio.
Axios Columbus, citing Ohio Casino Control Commission data, reported that for the month of January, Ohio online sports books handled more than $1 billion in wagers.
And all that betting resulted in a different kind of ringing as well. As Fox8 Cleveland reported, Ohio for Responsible Gambling said there’s been a 227% increase in helpline calls in January 2023 compared with January 2022.
Crain’s Cleveland reporter Joe Scalzo has been reporting extensively on what it may mean for businesses, with his latest piece citing potential hazards including increased cybersecurity concerns as employees use work computers to place bets, the need for organizations to provide problem gambling resources for employees and the increased potential for fraud from desperate employees faced with gambling losses.
All this also means that private businesses, nonprofits, health care companies, schools – any organization with employees – must be prepared with internal communications about its stance on legal gambling, from use of company property like computers, to employee assistance programs, to any new policies or existing policies that now need to reinforced.
Or stay silent and gamble you won’t have a problem. Not a bet we’d recommend laying.