Addabbo advocates for mobile sports betting to come with problem gambling awareness

While mobile sports betting has a multitude of potential benefits for New York State — such as millions of dollars in revenue that can go towards educational funding and bridging the state’s budget shortfall — it can also bring negative connotations with it, like gambling addiction. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., who has been fighting to bring mobile sports betting to the state, believes that instead of nixing mobile sports betting altogether, it can actually provide new funding to address the issue of problematic gambling and raise awareness of the addiction.

In a recent New York Post article (https://nypost.com/2019/12/08/nj-addiction-experts-warn-ny-on-dangers-of-online-sports-betting/) a new report by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey has shown that the number of people calling the gambling hot line and reporting a sports-betting problem has more than doubled since June 2018, when New Jersey legalized sports betting.

“Gambling addiction is a serious issue and must be included in any discussion regarding gaming in our state,” Addabbo, the chair of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, said. “Instead of denying accessible sports betting to those who game responsibly, by continuing to not allow mobile wagering in New York, we need to be highlighting problem gambling and providing options for help for those that need it. The fact that the number of calls to the gambling hotline have increased goes to show that the program is working and those that need the help are actively seeking it out.”

In Addabbo’s Senate bill (S.17D) there is a provision that would allocate a portion of new funding received by New York State through gaming to go towards problem gambling awareness, prevention and recovery.

“As the sponsor of the Senate bill aimed at bringing mobile sports betting to New York, I will make sure that we bring problem-gambling programs with mobile betting to help those affected by problematic gaming, in addition to identifying the signs and ways to prevent problem gambling from the start,” Addabbo added.