As New York celebrates a massively successful first year of mobile sports betting, Addabbo promotes Problem Gambling Awareness Month

March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. wants to highlight the many ways New York State is handling problem gambling issues.

New York enjoyed a record-setting first year of legal mobile sports betting in 2022, collecting more than $1 billion in gross gaming revenue, which has brought in over $700 million in tax revenue for the state, with a majority of those funds going towards the education system. And while this is a time to celebrate these incredible achievements, Addabbo believes we also need to continue looking at how we can help those with a gambling problem.

As mobile sports betting became legal at the beginning of 2022, Addabbo — Chair of the New York State Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee — worked closely 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 that safeguards were implemented in all the available mobile sports betting apps, as well as $6 million dollars in new funding for problem gaming education and treatment each year.

“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 said. “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.”

As the legislature looks at possibly expanding gaming in New York with iGaming — which would allow residents to wager on casino games like poker, roulette, blackjack and more online — Addabbo knows that the state cannot move forward with any expansion of gaming without also bolstering gambling addiction prevention and treatment resources.

“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 explained. “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.”

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call the free, confidential, 24/7 HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY or Text HOPENY (467369).