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What is Gambling Twitter? And What Does it Mean for Ohio?

Published: November 28, 2022

With legal sports betting being added to the list of legal forms of gambling in Ohio starting on Jan. 1, 2023, renewed attention is being paid to one of the most fascinating and concerning ways information about gambling and sports betting can spread: on social media. 

As ESPN recently reported, gambling conversations are flooding Twitter and other social media platforms. On Twitter, gambling aficionados, sports betting bookmakers, influencers, and everyday people have assembled into a loose-knit new community that has come to be called #GamblingTwitter. 

On #GamblingTwitter, gamblers and sports bettors are finding a community of like-minded people who are amplifying each other’s interests in gambling. ESPN reported on a study by Twitter, which found that 62 percent of bettors on the platform wager weekly and spend 15 percent more on bets every year than bettors who use other platforms. A full 65 percent said they were more motivated to bet on a big event that people were talking about on social media.

“Twitter’s been referred to as the world’s largest sports bar. You want to share in the excitement with fellow fans,” Mike Dupree, Director of Media and Entertainment at Twitter, told ESPN in September. “Well, you can almost consider that Twitter is becoming the world’s largest sportsbook, not in terms of taking bets, but where people come to talk about the action and follow their bets.”

Even though the rise of “the world’s largest sports bar” of social media is generally viewed positively, it should also be of concern for responsible gambling advocates. Interactions on social media can give sports bettors and gamblers the feeling that they are experts on the game because they have special information, especially when oddsmakers and athletes are interacting directly with fans. Feeling like an expert can lead to losses that bettors might be motivated to chase, which can develop into a problem with gambling. 

Similarly, some bettors may feel peer pressure to “follow the crowd” that’s assembling on social media, leading them to bet amounts of money they cannot afford, and to bet more frequently. And with few age restrictions on Twitter, children and teens could also be exposed to gambling content, even unintentionally, before they are old enough to engage legally. 

Considering these concerns, it is important for responsible gambling advocates in Ohio to spread the word about the value of responsible gaming on Twitter and other social media platforms, especially with the start of legal sports betting is right around the corner. Before You Bet has assembled numerous toolkits and resources to help. On the Before You Bet site, you will find: 

Additionally, a wide variety of resources are available for people who are struggling. If you or someone you know may be struggling with a problem with gambling, don’t hesitate to call the Problem Gambling Helpline. Confidential support from trained and understanding specialists is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741.

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