If I’m playing a slot machine that hasn’t hit in a long time then it’s due to pay out soon, right?

Many believe slots must “pay out” after so many spins or after a designated amount of time. This is simply not the case. Slot machines run on a constantly computing Random Number Generator. This random process tells the slot which symbols to stop on. It cannot be predicted, learned, or mastered.

Will I eventually come out on top if I play long enough?

Everyone loses over time. Never keep gambling to try to win your money back. This is called “chasing your losses,” and it’s a sign of problematic behavior. Casinos and other gambling venues are built on people losing. If everyone eventually won, they wouldn’t be in business.

It’s no big deal if I buy my kids lottery tickets for their birthdays, right?

One of the biggest risk factors of a gambling addiction is having an early win in a person’s gambling career. While it may seem harmless, if a young person wins a significant amount of money when scratching lottery tickets, engaging in a 50/50 raffle or even playing a friendly poker game, we see an increased risk for developing an addiction. Brain development plays a huge part in why youth are at a higher risk which we see play out through a fixation on the importance of money and a lack of understanding that odds and probability are not in our favor when we gamble.

If I play a game enough times, can I learn the trick to win?

It is true that certain types of gambling involve skill to play, but knowing more doesn’t ever guarantee a win. Furthermore, all gambling, no matter the type or degree of skill involved, must have an element of chance. Never forget that gambling is still about chance, and the odds always favor the house.

Is it possible to become addicted to gambling?

Absolutely. Gambling is the only diagnosable behavioral addiction. A person can become physically, physiologically, and behaviorally addicted to gambling. Just as with drugs or alcohol the body and mind become altered, build up tolerance, experience withdrawal and lose control.

I haven’t stolen from anyone. Could I still be addicted to gambling?

Many individuals have enough money to gamble problematically without committing criminal acts to finance their behavior. This however does not negate them from addiction. If spending increasing amounts of money and time starts to occur, lying becomes routine, and old hobbies are forgotten, even the richest person may be developing a gambling addiction. Furthermore, gambling affects more than just finances. Damaging your relationships, educational/career opportunities, and your physical/mental/emotional health are all serious signs of problem gambling.

Can people self-ban from the casinos? What is the process?

Yes. This process is known as voluntary self-exclusion. Self-exclusion applications must be completed in person with State personnel at the casino or racino. If you self-exclude at one casino or racino in Ohio you are automatically excluded from all the other casinos and racinos in the state. Exclusions are possible for 1 year, 5 years or life.

Visit http://www.casinocontrol.ohio.gov/ResponsibleGambling.aspx to learn more about the Casino Control Commission Voluntary Exclusion Program.