New York has become the sports betting capital in the United States by bringing in over $700 million in gross revenue for the year. However, problem gambling has been one of the drawbacks, and officials have put the issue on high notice.
Sports Betting Has its Positives and Its Flaws
The revenue generated from sports betting in the Empire goes toward good use, as 98 percent is sent to fund educational programs. However, with any operation that involves chance, strategy, and money, there are drawbacks that need to be considered.
A pair of responsible gambling bill amendments have been introduced in New York in an effort to promote responsible gambling. Legislators and opponents believe that sports betting and casino gaming will create more compulsive gamblers, thus, many states have yet to join the sports betting industry.
Bill S1550 will require all sports betting advertisements to include warning labels, such as the potentially harmful and addictive effects of gambling. In addition, another bill known as Bill A1056 would establish a problem gambling advisory council. As part of its cooperation with the Office of Addiction Services and Support (OASAS), the New York State Gaming Commission will “ensure that all advertisements for gaming activity state a problem gambling hotline number.”
The NYCPG Needs More Funding for the Cause
For the fiscal year 2023, the Commission received $6 million from the NY Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG). However, the organization is asking for more funding as three percent of the state’s gross revenue from sports betting would allocate over $21 million this year out of the $709 million that was brought in.
GeoComply estimates that 3.8 million unique user accounts have been created, and experts estimate that approximately one percent of adults may have severe gambling issues. That is about 40,000 users that could be affected by problem gambling, according to the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG).
NYCPG assistant executive director Michelle Hadden stated that NYCPG’s number one goal is to have a 24/7 hotline, which allows problem gamblers to interact with someone. In addition, Hadden proposes that annual funding of $10 million be allocated for public awareness campaigns.
What Will New York Do With iGaming Becoming a Possibility?
The legislative session in the state has begun, and there is a possibility that more sportsbook operators join the industry as Sen. Addabbo introduced a bill. The tax rate would also drop for the operators from 51 percent to 35 percent, then 25 percent if the state has 14 sportsbook operators by 2024 and 16 by 2025.
Addabbo emphasized that responsible gambling measures will be crucial in any iGaming bill. To this end, he suggested that online casino access could be limited for New Yorkers, such as not being available 24/7, at least initially. The reason for this may be that additional research is needed to make sure no major problems arise.