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All Play Can Be

Many games that aren’t commonly thought of as gambling can 
in fact still contain mechanics that simulate gambling behaviors, and can put you at risk for developing a problem with gambling. That’s why it’s so important to remember to play any game responsibly.

Is It Gambling?

To find out whether a game or activity contains mechanics that could put you at risk for problem gambling, ask these questions:

  • Does random chance determine whether you win?
  • Is the prize you’ll get chosen randomly?
  • Is real-life money required to play?
  • Is there the potential to lose that money?
  • Does the game promise exaggerated rewards?
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Know the Game,
Know the Risks

Some activities that simulate gambling or contain gambling-like elements that can put you at risk for problem gambling include:

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Online Video Games

Many online video games played by both children and adults feature loot boxes, skins marketplaces, and other gameplay mechanics that encourage players to exchange real-life money for a random chance at digital items. Some players become addicted to the game or chase their losses in an attempt to get certain items, which is a common problem gambling behavior.

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Internet Casinos

Though illegal in Ohio, internet casinos are a rising issue, with many allowing players to play digital versions of games that would otherwise be subject to responsible play guidelines. In addition to risking your personal information and safety, playing in an online casino can put you at risk for problem gambling.

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Speculative Financial Assets

While many people trade stocks, cryptocurrency, or other speculative financial assets as a way of engaging in the market, making money, and having fun, those activities can also put you at risk for problem gambling due to the random nature of fluctuations in the financial markets and the temptation to repeatedly chase losses on the fleeting promise of hypothetical future rewards.

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While betting on the outcome of an entire sports game is common, sportsbooks are now beginning to offer players the ability to bet on small, specific moments in a game in real-time, like the outcome of a football drive or a hockey power play. While rewarding for many, micro-betting can also encourage some players to bet over and over again, leading to a cycle of play that results in problem gambling behavior.

Make a Plan for Responsible Play

Regardless of what kinds of games you play, it’s important to take a moment beforehand and create a plan for keeping your play responsible. So pause before playing your next game and:

Set Limits. Recognize the Risks. Know When to Stop.

Are You at Risk for
Problem Gambling?

It only takes two minutes to gauge your risk level for problem gambling.

Rate My Risk
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Call the Problem Gambling Helpline

Trained specialists are available 24/7.

Call 1-800-589-9966
Text 4HOPE to 741741
Suicide and Crisis Line: Call 988

Access Helpful Resources

Help is available in your local area. For gambling addiction services, find clinical locations near you by visiting Gambling Help Ohio. And to find other resources, Pause Before You Play provides an overview on this site.

Get Help