As NY Online Sports Betting Nears, More Funds For Problem Gambling?

Posted By Mike Mazzeo on August 10, 2021

The New York Council on Problem Gambling wants more funding for next year as online sports betting gets closer to reality.

Problem gambling services will get an additional $6 million in 2022. But the NYCPG said in a statement Monday morning that number isn’t enough.

Legalized mobile sports betting in NY is coming, perhaps by the Super Bowl in February or even sooner.

Bids for mobile sports betting applicants are due to the New York State Gaming Commission by 4 p.m. Monday. The NYSGC will have until Dec. 6 to make its decision.

NYCPG makes recommendations

Here’s how the council recommends for the additional $6 million for problem gambling services to be allocated:

  • Problem gambling treatment ($500,000)
  • Stand-alone, 24-7 problem gambling helpline ($500,000)
  • Improved voluntary self-exclusion services statewide ($500,000)
  • Professional education and assisting community level workers in problem gambling prevention ($2 million)
  • Annual public awareness campaigns and program marketing ($2.5 million)

Facts and figures about problem gambling in NY

Based on the national average (3-4 percent), NYCPG estimates that there could be 600,000 New Yorkers struggling with problem gambling.

“The incoming expansion of gambling opportunities brings with it some additional funds for services, but they are not nearly enough,” the release said. “With limited funds, we must ensure that the current services and infrastructure are effective and being utilized, before we move to build more infrastructure.”

NY State Senator Joseph Addabbo noted in April legal mobile sports betting could bring in $99 million for the state in the fiscal year 2021-22. That projection shoots to $357 million in 2022-23, and eventually over $500 million in 2025-26. Much of that money will fund education in the state, which, like many others, has seen its budget take a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Applicants for NY mobile sports betting are likely to have to pay at least 50 percent of revenues to the state. Whether the state reaches those lofty projections is also speculative.

The NYSGC released its final round of questions and answers for bidders on Aug. 2, with clarifications regarding submissions for tax rates.

Photo by John Munson / The Associated Press
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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