Ohio ads use humor to address problem gambling

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Lottery Commission is trying to draw attention to serious messages about problem gambling by depicting outcomes of some humorous bets.

The characters in the "I Lost a Bet" media campaign include a bearded man dancing atop a table with rhythmic gymnastics ribbons and another guy wearing a dog costume and crouching in a crowded elevator. The billboard and TV ads refer to the campaign website, where funny scenes precede serious messages about damaging effects of problem gambling.

The lottery's marketing director describes it as "the applesauce with the medicine."

The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1c0IOgk ) the ads target young adults, especially men, statistically shown to be most at risk for gambling addiction.

The $1.5 million campaign is funded by taxes paid by horse-racing tracks that have slots-like video machines.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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