Ohio Lottery Expands Self-Exclusion Program to Include Online Wagering
The Ohio Lottery has taken a significant step to assist individuals dealing with gambling problems by expanding its “Time Out Ohio” program. This initiative is designed to provide support for responsible gaming and ensure the safety of players. The most noteworthy development is the expansion of the state’s self-exclusion program to include online wagering, thereby increasing its effectiveness and reach.
To support this expansion, the Ohio Lottery Commission has introduced a new software solution from the safe gambling organization Gamban. This software will prevent individuals from placing bets on various devices, including popular betting sites like FanDuel, Unibet, Bally’s, and WagerScore in the US for a period of one year. The software will be available at no cost to individuals suffering from gambling harm, reflecting Ohio’s proactive approach to addressing the challenges posed by the rapidly growing mobile gambling landscape.
The “Time Out Ohio” program offers self-exclusion options for individuals, ranging from one year to a lifetime ban. Those who breach the self-exclusion agreement by entering a casino may face penalties, including forfeiting gambling chips or slot tickets, being forced to leave the premises, and potential criminal trespass charges.
Amanda Blackford, director of operations and Responsible Gaming at the Ohio Lottery Commission, emphasized the significance of the Gamban software for individuals struggling with online gambling. She noted that it provides protection against illegal gambling platforms beyond the Commission’s jurisdiction. Matt Zarb-Cousin, co-founder of Gamban, praised Ohio’s proactive attitude and expressed hope that other states would follow its lead.
In addition to the expansion of the self-exclusion program, Ohio has implemented new restrictions on gambling advertisements, promotional offers, and bonuses. Furthermore, a new bill has been proposed to reduce the gambling operator gross receipts tax from 20% to 10%, highlighting the state’s balanced approach to protect consumers while encouraging a thriving and sustainable gambling industry.
The update to “Time Out Ohio” demonstrates Ohio’s commitment to harnessing technology to provide critical support and protection for individuals dealing with gambling addiction. This initiative not only extends to legal gambling platforms, but it also addresses potentially harmful online platforms. The state’s balanced approach should serve as an example for other states, prioritizing customer safety without stifling industry growth.