Sen. Addabbo To Host Virtual Discussion In March For Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Written By Grant Lucas on February 27, 2024
Image of Sen. Joseph Addabbo on a computer for a story on the New York senator hosting a problem gambling virtual seminar in March

As February turns to March, so too does attention to problem gambling, a subject that remains close to Sen. Joseph Addabbo.

The topic is heavily addressed in any gambling-related legislation he introduces, just as it is in his latest bill to legalize online casinos in New York. It was center stage in September, when Addabbo hosted a virtual problem gambling seminar. And it will again be the focus on March 12, when the senator will again put on a virtual discussion regarding problem gambling and responsible gambling in New York.

In honor of March being recognized as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and March 12 as Gambling Disorder Screening Day, Addabbo will host an online discussion aimed at educating the public on problem gambling while providing information on available support services in the Empire State.

Addabbo continues to emphasize importance of problem gambling

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, Addabbo has been instrumental in legalizing and expanding gambling in New York. That included the launch of online sports betting in NY, which has generated over $1.6 billion in state tax revenue since going live in January 2022.

While that total is certainly positive for New York, as it goes toward state education, Addabbo recognizes that an increase in problem gambling remains a concern. What’s more, Addabbo and many others don’t believe the state contributes enough to problem gambling awareness and treatment, which currently stands at $6 million each year.

Earlier this month, in fact, Addabbo introduced a bill that would increase that amount. The proposal would call for an increase to 1% of tax revenue and no less than $6 million.

All of this is why he will host this discreet virtual get-together, where participants and remain anonymous and learn more about gambling addiction and how to find helpful resources and treatment.

“For some, gaming is a casual pastime, but for others it becomes all-consuming, and they need help,” Addabbo said in a statement. “As the Chairman of the NYS Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, I believe I have a responsibility to bring this event to the community for the public good and will always consider the issue of problem gambling a high priority when safely expanding gaming in New York.”

Leading addiction expert to headline Addabbo’s virtual discussion

Presented in collaboration with the New York Council on Problem Gambling and Resorts World NYC, and with support from the National Council on Problem Gambling, the virtual discussion will feature guest speaker Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit at the Imperial College of London. Nutt stands as one of the world’s leading experts on addiction.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to share our research on the brain mechanisms underpinning gambling addiction,” Nutt said in a press release, “as they will help explain why it is so hard to break its grip and hopefully lead to new treatments.”

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, two million adults across the United States meet severe gambling criteria every year. Up to six million have mild or moderate problems.

According to the New York Council on Problem Gambling, 4.3% of adult residents experience problems related to gambling activity.

Virtual discussion will include many educational aspects

In addition to Nutt, the discussion will surround voluntary self-exclusion, recognizing signs of addiction and screening for a gambling disorder.

On top of that, participants will get to no S.E.E. It, otherwise known as Support Educate and Engage to Reduce Gambling Harm, the this year’s them for the NYCPG, as well as Every Story Matters from the NCPG, where recovering addicts “share their stories of hope,” according to the press release.

As Addabbo said in a statement:

“If we can help individuals from taking this preventable trip down the road to self-destruction, especially through early detection, then we have accomplished something important.”

Photo by PlayNY
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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