'I Lost A Bet' anti-gambling campaign causes controversy
You may have noticed
billboards around the town with the caption 'I Lost A Bet.'
The anti-gambling ads,
sponsored by the Ohio Lottery Commission, portray some sort of funny character
- but compulsive gambling is no laughing matter.
It's estimated that as many as
20-million Americans have a gambling problem which can lead to bankruptcy,
devastates families and even suicide. But the Ohio Lottery Commission has
launched a campaign aimed at young people to raise their awareness about
compulsive gambling before it becomes a problem.
Sandy Lesko Mounts, the Ohio Lottery
Commission's Deputy Director of Marketing Communications, says a lot of
research was done to determine the most vulnerable age group.
"You want to do something effective that
has an impact. That means something that really might help in the long run
stave off the problem of addiction to gambling," said Mounts. "Where it starts
at the beginning which we determined was in this age group of 18 to 24-year-old
straight to work males."
Some of the ads portray humorous
consequences of losing a bet, but Janice Uible who - describes herself as a
compulsive gambler - says she's not laughing.
"I don't think there's anything humorous
about gambling," said Uible.
Uible says her gambling became a problem
following the death of her mother in 2010. She's lost tens of thousands of dollars,
but she admits it provides relief from stress.
"When I was gambling, I did not notice
my pain," she said. "How easy it is to keep pushing the button, pushing
the button. You don't think about anything else."
Janice has tried gamblers anonymous and
is now seeing a therapist, but she says she continues to play the slot
"It has made me feel shameful because
most people that I know do not think it's such a good thing," said Uible.