University of Cincinnati Adding Gambling Addiction Services

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on December 28, 2022
University of Cincinnati School of Social Work Gambling Treatment Services

The University of Cincinnati wants to provide gambling addiction services now that Ohio sports betting is on the way. To do so, the School of Social Work aims to get students, faculty, and alums the necessary credentials to help treat gambling addiction.  

The School of Social Work will partner with the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) through the PGNO’s consultation program. 

Ohio will become the 32nd state with legal, regulated sports betting when the industry goes live on Jan. 1, 2023. 

University of Cincinnati adding gambling treatment services

Mike Buzzelli, the associate director of the PGNO, said he received a grant application from Dr. Gregory Stewart, an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati.

“[The School of Social Work] wants to add gambling addiction into their social work curriculum and make sure alumni with graduate degrees get the hours they need, because they know it will be an area of competency,” said Buzzelli. 

Already faculty members are calling the partnership a win-win.

“There will be a number of ways, starting in January, where we’ll be able to see the impact of this grant,” said Stewart. 

The plan is to have the program evolve to include student-to-student counseling with the goal of extending treatment to remote corners of Ohio.

Expanding treatment to all corners of Ohio

In December, several state health agencies spoke with the Springfield News-Sun about preparing for the increase in problem gamblers. William Roberts, a recovery services senior manager, said sports betting will push the limits of problem gamblers’ self-control.

“As more states continue to legalize sports betting, the chances are even greater for individuals to develop a gambling addiction. The ease of mobile betting increases the temptation to bet more than you can afford to lose and makes it easier to hide your betting from concerned loved ones.”

Fellow assistant professor Wayne Kinney, in charge of distance learning, said the school has the resources to reach beyond the borders of Cincinnati. 

“We have the capability of partnering with field internships around the state and getting students endorsed by these agencies. If we get to that point, I think we’re in a good position. Social work is uniquely positioned because we look at people and an environment.”

The university will host a faculty workshop on Jan. 20 addressing gambling addiction treatment ethics. Additionally, there will be a problem gambling conference for School of Social Work alumni on March 31.

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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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