NY Council On Problem Gambling: $20 Million Would Adequately Address Needs

Written By Mike Mazzeo on September 1, 2021

The New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) believes $20 million would be adequate to address its needs as online sports betting in the state moves closer to launch.

Problem gambling services are slated to receive $6 million in additional funding for 2022. But the NYCPG said in an August statement that figure wasn’t enough.

NY State Sen. Joseph Addabbo hopes that legal sports betting apps will be up and running in the state by the Feb. 13, 2022 Super Bowl.

The NY State Gaming Commission may hear formal presentations from applicants starting Sept. 1.

How problem gambling would allocate the $20 million

In an August email to PlayNY, the NYCPG explained how it would utilize the $20 million it would like to receive in order to adequately address problem gambling.

  • Prevention ($5 million)

“Strategies would target vulnerable, high-risk populations. Adolescents, young adults, seniors, ethnic and linguistic minorities, prison population, those with substance use disorders and other mental health issues.”

  • Intervention ($7 million)

“Efforts to intervene include increasing community awareness through media outreach, education sessions, professional training, screening, and referral services. Helpline services and online tools.”

  • Treatment ($5 million)

“Crisis care, outpatient treatment, residential treatment, after care, and relapse prevention.”

  • Research ($1 million)

“To investigate the public health consequences of gambling in New York and support rigorous ongoing surveillance and evaluation to measure the impact of expanded gambling. And provide valuable information to target programming to those most affected.”

  • Recovery ($2 million)

“To ensure those who have been able to reduce or eliminate the harm caused by their gambling behaviors have adequate support. To remain gambling free and continue to improve both their individual and family life circumstances.”

NYCPG’s recommendation for the $6 million

  • 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)

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

September is National Recovery Month

The NYCPG is raising awareness of recovery from problem gambling during Recovery Month.

Its theme: “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Everything Community.”

According to the NYCPG, gambling disorder most often occurs with people who have anxiety and depression. However, only about 10% of people with gambling disorder reach out to help.

The recovery process involves connections from communities, family members, and co-workers. The screening process is also key.

It involves asking three questions:

  1. During the past 12 months, have you become restless irritable, or anxious when trying to stop/cut down on gambling?
  2. During the past 12 months, have you tried to keep your family or friends from knowing how much you gambled?
  3. During the past 12 months did you have such financial trouble as a result of your gambling that you had to get help with living expenses from family, friends, or welfare?
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN NewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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