New Bill Could Create More Problem Gambling Funding From NY Sports Betting

Written By Grant Lucas on February 8, 2024 - Last Updated on February 9, 2024
Lawmaker signs legislation for a story on a bill to create more funding for problem gambling from New York sports betting

No other jurisdiction in the United States compares to New York when it comes to online sports betting.

Over the first two years, sports betting in New York generated $1.55 billion in state tax revenue, used for public education in the Empire State.

A sliver goes toward problem gambling resources, specifically with $6 million carved out annually. But Sen. Joe Addabbo, like many advocates of assisting those suffering from problem gambling, has long believed that wasn’t enough. Now, the senator has a new bill proposal that would funnel more funding for that effort.

Filed near the end of January, S8439 calls for 1% of tax revenue to go toward problem gambling resources and never less than $6 million.

Addabbo looks to create more resources for gambling treatment

As detailed in S8439, NY sports betting has grown exponentially over its first two years.

In 2022, online sportsbooks in New York generated over $16.1 billion in handle, leading to some $693.1 million in state tax revenue. Last year, upping itself and resetting the records, NY sportsbooks reported $19.1 billion in accepted bets and over $861 million in state tax revenue.

“With the success of mobile sports wagering year-over-year, and a continuous increase in a new class of users each year,” Addabbo wrote in the justification for the bill, “the system to help prevent addiction should also be growing along with the industry it supports.

“The additional money would help OASAS [Office of Addiction Services and Supports] maintain and expand the services needed to help prevent and fight against gambling addictions.”

How much more problem gambling funding would bill create?

If passed this year, the bill would take affect on April 1, 2025 or on the first day of April following the bill’s passage, whenever that occurs.

While the bill “will have a minimal fiscal impact” on the state, as the bill states, New York would certainly have more to work with when it comes to treating and helping those suffering from problem gambling.

Consider the past two years of legal online sports betting in NY. As mentioned, the state carves out $6 million each year to be used for problem gambling. In 2022, with sportsbooks paying $693.1 million in taxes, that would equate to $6.9 million in funding. And in 2023, that $861.8 million would generate $8.6 million.

“It would provide an additional couple million dollars to the OASAS on an annual basis,” the bill says. “Based on FY 2023-2024 projections the increase to one percent would be an additional $2.5 million.”

While not a head-turning figure, something is better than nothing. After all, over the first two years of online sports betting in New York, many have advocated for the state devoting more funding to help with problem gambling.

As Addabbo has emphasized – not only in the fight to legalize online casinos in NY but also has a way to expand the existing sports betting industry – New York has built a solid and successful foundation. Now, rather than be complacent with status quo, Addabbo wants to bolster the industry.

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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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