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Ohio Protects Student-Athletes With New Sports Betting Restrictions  

Published: September 25, 2023

Many college students face the unfortunate reality of bullying. But with the legalization of sports betting in Ohio and other states, student-athletes can face a new form of abuse – and not from other students on campus.

According to an ESPN article, since legalized sports betting began spreading across the country, student-athletes have reported regularly receiving abusive messages from gamblers on social media, including death threats and acts of violence. An FBI agent told ESPN that the agency considers threats to athletes on social media to be a growing issue. 

Student-athletes like Damion Baugh of TCU are feeling hurt and frustrated by the abuse. 

“Everybody playing sports growing up, we play until the whistle, play until the end of the game,” he said. “People just forgot about that. Saying I shouldn’t have taken the shot is saying, ‘We don’t care about the game. We just wanted to win our money.’”

As a result, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine passed a recent budget bill that prohibits bettors who threaten sports figures from using any retail or online sportsbooks in Ohio. In addition, Ohio regulators have been tightening restrictions on betting promotions as well as kicking out bettors who pose a threat to athletes. However, it is still being determined how the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) or its operators will determine or monitor a threat that could result in a ban.

This isn’t the only kind of strict regulation the OCCC has imposed on the betting industry. According to a recent article, the OCCC fined DraftKings $350,000 for advertising to minors and Penn Sports $250,000 for hosting a pregame show at the University of Toledo campus. In addition, OCCC fined DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM $150,000 each for using the phrases “risk-free” and “free bets” in their advertising.

Ohio regulators have taken such a proactive approach to sports betting regulations because they understand the risks involved with betting and gambling. In order to keep the activity responsible for all, setting limits, recognizing the risks, and knowing when to stop are ways to ensure that betting doesn’t get out of hand.

In addition, remembering the following tips can help keep your betting responsible. 

  • Know that everyone loses over time.
  • Bet only what you can afford to lose.
  • Understand that knowing more about a game won’t ensure a win.
  • Know when to quit and don’t chase your losses.
  • Know what’s legal to play in your area.
  • Know where and when to get help.

If you are looking for additional help and resources to help you learn about betting or gambling, Pause Before You Play offers a free two-minute quiz to gauge your risk and a wide variety of listings for free helpful organizations, programs, and more near you. Access the Get Help page to find online listings for support groups, financial education resources, and more.

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