Scottie Barclay of Maple Heights, a die-hard Browns fan, is warning sports betters to exercise caution after seeing a family member fall victim to gambling addiction. Along with his friend Johnny Tatonetti, Barclay enjoys watching NFL games in his basement man cave, adorned with Browns memorabilia and his beloved bulldog Georgia. However, both Barclay and Tatonetti stress the potentially addictive nature of sports betting, especially now that it is more accessible through mobile apps.
Barclay expressed his concern, likening the addictive nature of sports betting to that of a drug. He recounted the devastating impact gambling addiction had on a family member, who lost everything – their house, job, car, and family. Michael Buzzelli, Associate Director of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, echoed these concerns, acknowledging the growing issue of gambling addiction in the state. Buzzelli highlighted the Ohio Gambling Telehealth Network as a valuable resource for residents to access qualified gambling counselors online.
Nabil Pervaiz, Manager of Prevention Services with Cleveland’s Recovery Resources, revealed that approximately 254,000 Ohioans are struggling with gambling addiction, with an additional 19% at risk. He emphasized the importance of recognizing warning signs, such as hiding losses or debts, as indicators of a gambling problem. Pervaiz also promoted various gambling addiction resources like Pause Before You Play, Change the Game Ohio, and Time Out Ohio.
Barclay urged those struggling with gambling issues to seek help, encouraging them to reach out to family members or seek professional assistance. Meanwhile, the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio is working diligently to combat the surge in gambling addiction by providing accessible online therapy and counseling.
The overall message from Barclay, Tatonetti, and the experts in Ohio is clear – while sports betting may be entertaining, it can quickly spiral into an addiction with severe consequences. They are urging individuals and their families to be vigilant and seek help if they suspect a gambling problem.