New York State Senator Calls for Responsible Gambling Amid Successful Mobile Betting Launch
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. emphasizes the need for responsible gambling amid the success of legal mobile sports betting.
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.
New York has taken a number of steps to address problem gambling, including allocating $6 million dollars in new funding for problem gaming education and treatment each year. This money goes towards supporting treatment programs for those who have developed a gambling addiction, as well as public awareness campaigns and research into effective prevention strategies.
Despite these efforts, however, the problem of gambling addiction remains a serious concern in New York and across the country. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, between 1% and 3% of American adults struggle with a gambling problem. This translates to millions of people, many of whom are unable to seek help or access the resources they need to overcome their addiction.
To address this issue, the New York Responsible Play Partnership (RPP) is holding multiple events throughout Problem Gambling Awareness Month to raise awareness of problem gambling and promote responsible gambling practices. The RPP consists 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.
In addition to these efforts, lawmakers in New York are also considering two responsible gaming bills: S1550 and A1056. These bills would require gaming operators to implement stronger safeguards to protect against problem gambling, including more robust self-exclusion programs and better resources for identifying and assisting those who may be at risk.
"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.
While the expansion of gaming in New York has brought many benefits to the state, it is important that policymakers and industry leaders remain vigilant in their efforts to prevent problem gambling and protect vulnerable individuals from harm. With continued investment in prevention and treatment programs, New York can build a thriving gaming industry that is both economically viable and socially responsible.