Last weekend, New York State finally advanced its gaming industry to the next level, as the Empire State officially started online sports wagering. However, with the increase of offerings and availability of gaming services in the state, some addiction experts predict that more and more people will be seeking help regarding compulsive gambling disorders.
It is expected that the online expansion of the state’s gambling industry would provide hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars to the economy, it could still take its toll on local gamblers. As wagering on sporting events from the comfort of their homes makes players much more susceptible to gambling disorders. That is why many compulsive gambling programs are preparing for expansion.
Likelihood Increases with Availability
One of the organizations that expect the increase is the Northeast Problem Gambling Resource Center, which is a program of the state’s Council on Problem Gambling. The program’s leader Brandy Richards commented that every time when accessibility to gambling increases, the likelihood of gambling-related problems is also going to increase, and that is why the organizations must be ready for the surge.
Director of the New York State Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, John Coppola has also claimed that mobile sports wagering comes with brand-new challenges. As it offers temptations and stimulation similar to those in video games. His other concern is that gamblers will be able to wager during all times of the day. In his words, with compulsive gambling, people can lose everything and not just their money.
Currently, the state’s gambling counseling programs are set to receive US$6 million from the state for this year. However, the Council on Problem Gambling, believes that the amount would not be near enough and cited numbers in the size of US$20 million needed to deal with the problem. Additionally, the council is also suggesting to create a new state Division of Problem Gaming, as well as using 3% of sports gaming revenue for treatment and counseling.
State Sen. Pete Harckham, D-Westchester County, asserted that the Empire State may benefit from the introduction of online sports betting. Mr. Harckham who is also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, also said that the committee will be closely following the situation in the state and see how the situation develops.
Started on Saturday
New York State officially started its mobile sports betting regime on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at 9 a.m. The New York State Gaming Commission has given its regulatory approval to four gaming operators to start offering the new service. Currently, the four active ones are Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Rush Street Interactive. Five more operators are also on the way to launch their platforms.
One of the approved operators, FanDuel, is also a major advocate of safe gambling. The company provides a toll-free number on its website to the National Council on Problem Gambling, as well as websites for Gamblers Anonymous. Its website also comes with contact information for counseling programs in various states.
Source: Cnhi, Joe “Compulsive gambling programs brace for sports betting”, Niagara Gazette, January 9, 2022