House Bill 282 Could Allow Use of Electronic Instant Bingo.

Here’s what Ohioans need to know.

The Ohio
Constitution generally prohibits gambling – but includes some exceptions. One
of those exceptions is for instant bingo games conducted by charitable
organizations that raise money for charitable causes. Under existing law,
physical instant bingo games are conducted using paper tickets sold to
participants either in person or using a ticket dispenser. A new bill that was
recently introduced would allow organizations that currently offer those games
to start using an electronic instant bingo device.

The bill requires
the Attorney General to carefully monitor all electronic bingo devices and the
organizations using them. However, there’s another important side to the story
that also needs monitoring.

Electronic instant
bingo players will be exposed to something much different than the traditional
bingo game that most of us know. Players don’t have to call out “Bingo!” They
just drop in their money and “Spin to Win.” If that sounds familiar, it’s
because it’s a similar format and imagery used by games in casinos across the
country.

Electronic instant
bingo could represent a big expansion of gambling-type behavior in Ohio – and
every gambling expansion should require the operators to engage in education
and training around the issues of problem gambling.

Just like the bar
and restaurant industry has training around responsible serving of alcohol,
operators of electronic instant bingo games should understand responsible
gambling practices. They can help by:

Understanding
how to prevent underage gambling.Knowing
the warning signs that someone may be at risk.Dedicating
funds to support problem gambling services.Including
gambling helpline signage on all machines.While many people are excited about electronic instant bingo games – our goal is to make sure that we move forward in a manner that keeps Ohioans safe. You can view information regarding House Bill 282 here.

For more responsible gambling education and resources, visit BeforeYouBet.org.