Legal online sports betting in New York is generating millions of dollars in additional taxes for the state while calls to the problem gambling hotline are also on the rise.
Those were the major conclusions of a recent report from the NY comptroller’s office highlighting last year’s fiscal and societal costs associated with the expansion of gambling to include sports betting in New York.
NY online sports betting taxes have doubled original projections
Taxes from online sports betting in NY generated twice as much as initial projections, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. However, since the start of mobile sports gambling in January 2022, there has been a double-digit percentage rise in calls to the state’s problem gambling hotline.
In a press release announcing the findings, DiNapoli noted that legal gambling has “significantly expanded in the state in the last several years.” With it, though, has come obvious risks.
“With the ease and 24/7 availability of mobile betting apps, problem gambling and addiction are poised to increase. More attention should be devoted to understanding the implications of mobile sports betting, particularly on young New Yorkers.”
The report says state tax collections from online sports betting generated $727.4 million in the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 1-March 31). State tax collections have continued to grow in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. According to DiNapoli’s report, actual collections were double the original projections of $357 million.
The higher collections were a result of the number of licenses issued to mobile sports betting providers and higher tax rates, the state comptroller’s office said. That trend is likely to continue, with a 6.9% revenue increase expected over the next four years.
More NY gambling options, more problem gambling hotline calls
DiNapoli’s report also references public data released by the New York State Gaming Commission and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports which noted a rise in call volume to the NY HOPEline.
There was a 26% increase in problem gambling-related calls to the hotline from 2021 to 2022, as well as an “apparent leveling off” in the number of current-year calls through March 2023.
According to the comptroller’s report, research indicates higher rates of gambling problems occur among individuals wagering with a mobile device, “enabled by the accessibility, privacy and ease of smartphone use.”
The NYSGC and OASAS are required to submit annual reports to state lawmakers and the governor on the impact of online sports betting on problem gambling. The most recently updated of those reports says there was a 33% increase in voluntary self-exclusion requests and a 23% hike in call volume to the NY HOPEline during the first full year of internet sports betting.