Gambling Help Hotline callers seek winning tips before help

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Callers to Ohio’s problem-gambling help line often seek information on wagering rather than help to quit gambling.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that operators handled more than 5,600 calls in the fiscal year that ended June 30. Records show 54 percent of those calls fell into the category of “not applicable.” Callers frequently wanted winning lottery numbers or information about casinos and horse tracks.

A recorded message was added to the help line this month so callers know they have reached a line for problem gamblers.

The chief of problem-gambling services for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services attributes the volume of calls to an aggressive state promotional campaign by the Ohio for Responsible Gambling alliance.

Problem gamblers can get referrals for help by calling 1-800-589-9966.

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