New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. is calling for further promotion of responsible gambling amid Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and as the Empire State celebrates the results of a massively successful first year of legal mobile sports betting. “When the legislature works towards safely expanding and regulating gaming in New York, we must make sure that we protect residents from the dangers of excessive gambling,” Addabbo said.
His remarks come as New York celebrates the early success of the legal sports betting market, which enjoyed a record-setting first year in 2022, collecting more than $1 billion in gross revenue and over $700 million in tax revenue, with a majority of funds earmarked towards education. While Addabbo celebrated these achievements, he also said lawmakers and the industry need to continue looking “at how we can help those with a gambling problem.”
“Mobile sports betting has been a great new revenue source for the state and New York quickly became one of the most popular products in the country. Now that we have legalized and regulated mobile sports betting in our state, we are able to identify the people that may have or be in the process of developing a gaming problem,” Addabbo, who is Chair of the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, stated.
“Through the safeguards on the apps, like freezing accounts, reporting and the self-exclusion option our hope is to reach these people before they become addicted and prevent them from the pitfalls of gaming addiction,” he added, noting he worked with problem gaming entities like the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) and the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) to ensure safeguards were implemented ahead of launch.
But while protections have been implemented in available mobile sports betting apps, as well as $6 million dollars in new funding for problem gaming education and treatment each year, the senator said that any expansion of gaming “cannot move forward without also bolstering gambling addiction prevention and treatment resources.” This pledge comes at a time at which the legislature looks at expanding gaming in New York with online casino options.
“Aside from creating billions of dollars in revenue and educational funding for the state along with thousands of local jobs, the priority of identifying those individuals preferably before they have a gambling addiction and providing them with credible successful programs must be at the forefront of what we do legislatively with regards to gaming in New York,” Addabbo added.
The senator isn’t the only voice that has called for further problem gambling prevention efforts as of late. For Problem Gambling Awareness Month, NY’s Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) – consisting of the New York State Gaming Commission, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports, and the New York Council on Problem Gambling – is holding multiple events to drive attention to the issue.
But NY stakeholders are also seeking to ramp up their efforts to tackle problem gambling in the Empire State through new rules. The NY Gaming Commission has recently introduced stricter regulations to limit sports betting ads targeting underage individuals; and for their part, state lawmakers are concurrently considering two responsible gaming bills: S1550 and A1056.