Addicts, counselors worry about state's legalized sports betting proposal

He's never drank. He's never done drugs. But, Dave Mathess is an addict and he can tell you how everything went wrong.

"In 25 years, I've lost about $1.4 million and I have a dollar in my bank account," he said.

Mathess is happy about that lonely dollar, because he says now he pays his bills on time. He didn't use to.

He had gambled for 35 years and says he was addicted to playing the lottery and bingo for 20 years. He says he lost himself, his family, relationships, jobs and his income. In 2017 he tried to kill himself by taking pills and wound up in the hospital. When he got out he says he knew he had to do something drastic. He went to Hollywood Casino and Scioto Downs and voluntarily banned himself for life.

"If I go in to those casinos, then I automatically go to jail for criminal trespassing," Mathess said.

He's coming up on two years clean and attends counseling at Maryhaven. He says temptations are everywhere and worries if the state of Ohio legalizes sports wagering it can and will be a trigger for addicts.

SB 111, if passed, would permit the Ohio Casino Control Commission to regulate sports wagering.

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