Young Adults in New York Suffer from Compulsive Gambling

Online sports wagering has been a major hit in New York over the last year, however, with its surge in popularity, problem gambling cases have also increased. Recently, experts from the New York Council on Problem Gambling reported that more and more young adults from the state have sought help regarding their compulsive gambling habits.

This January the state market one year of mobile sports betting operations, and Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that for the first year, the state collected US$909 million in revenue from sports betting. Meanwhile, US$709 million out of the total amount came from online wagers on sports. However, these numbers have addiction experts concerned about the bettors.

Problem Gambling is a Growing Concern

James Maney, director of the NYCPG, commented that the launch of mobile sports betting and the expansion of gaming in the state had been the reason for an increase in the number of 18- to 24-year-olds who have now become pathological gamblers. He also criticized the state that it spends more on promoting it rather than advertising counselling for gambling addiction

In a legislative meeting, Mr. Maney admitted that there are undoubtedly benefits of the new online offering, however, he raised concerns about its cost to locals. He shared that the council often gets calls at one in the morning or calls from parents about how their college-aged children are losing their money and asking about professional help.

In addition to that, the expert revealed that the councilโ€™s referral network telephone line has recorded a 25% increase in calls since the debut of online sports wagering. He noted that without a robust public awareness campaign, more people will start to gamble, which will ultimately increase the risk of more people becoming victims of compulsive gambling.

According to his estimations, the state would need to invest US$10 million annually to advertise to help locals recognize the warning signs of problem gambling. Mr. Maney suggested that 3% of the online gaming revenue or approximately US$21 million should be set aside for services for problem gambling, however, in his words, the state is willing to give fall less.

Potential Changes

Some lawmakers from the Empire State are also worried about the possible negative effect of online sports gambling and its increased marketing across the state. In January, democrats Luis R. Sepรบlveda and Leroy Comrie introduced Senate Bill S1550, which would require all gambling ads in the state to feature warnings about a possible negative effect and a number for the New York problem gambling hotline.

The mobile sports betting market taxed online sportsbooks at 51% which could bring more bad news for local sports bettors. Recently, representatives of FanDuel and DraftKings, which are two of the leading sportsbook brands, commented that if the state does not lower the tax rate, operators could be forced to offer worse betting odds for users.

Source: Mahoney, Joe โ€œGambling addiction grows in NY amid rise of online bettingโ€ KPVI, February 1, 2023


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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat โ€“ turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.