After watching a family member slip into gambling addiction, Scottie Barclay, a Browns fan from Maple Heights, is urging caution for those who bet on sports. Along with his friend Johnny Tatonetti, they enjoy watching NFL games in Barclay’s basement Browns man cave, along with Barclay’s bulldog Georgia. Both of them are warning about the potential addictive nature of sports betting, especially with the growing accessibility via phone apps and more.
Barclay emphasized the addictive nature of gambling, comparing it to a drug and recounting how he watched a family member lose everything due to a gambling problem. He shared his concern about the allure of chasing money and the devastating consequences it can have on individuals and their families.
Michael Buzzelli, the Associate Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, is leading the fight against growing gambling addiction in Ohio. The agency has expanded its efforts through the Ohio Gambling Telehealth Network, providing Ohio residents with access to qualified gambling counselors online. Individuals can contact the Ohio Problem Gambling Helpline at 800-589-9966 to quickly connect with a counselor from the comfort of their own home.
Nabil Pervaiz, Manager of Prevention Services with Cleveland’s Recovery Resources, stated that approximately 254,000 Ohioans are dealing with gambling addiction, with about 19% of Ohioans at risk. He emphasized the importance of recognizing warning signs of problem gambling, such as hiding spending, losses, and debts, as well as asking to borrow money.
Pervaiz also mentioned various resources such as Pause Before You Play, Change the Game Ohio, and Time Out Ohio as excellent gambling addiction resources. He stressed the need for education and awareness to address the prevalence of gambling addiction in Ohio.
Barclay also added his advice for individuals struggling with sports betting or gambling issues, advocating for seeking help before things get out of hand. He emphasized the importance of reaching out to family members and seeking assistance if they feel they are experiencing a problem.
Overall, the message is clear: gambling addiction is a growing issue, and individuals and their families should be educated about the warning signs and know where to seek help. The resources and support are available, and it’s crucial to address the issue before it spirals out of control.