A New York lawmaker who advocates for expanding legal gambling in the Empire State is also a leading proponent of putting state resources toward helping those who are vulnerable or prone to addiction disorders.
Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, will be hosting a virtual problem gambling education seminar on Sept. 13 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The one-hour NY responsible gambling session is taking place in recognition of both Responsible Gambling Education Month and Recovery Month, according to a press release from the senator’s office.
Senator owns ‘responsibility’ to community
Addabbo, chairman of the state Senate Commission on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, said he has a “responsibility to bring this event to the community for the public good.”
The virtual discussion will educate people on problem gambling and connect those in need of services with organizations that can help, according to Addabbo.
“For some, gaming is a casual pastime, but for others it becomes all-consuming, and they need help. If we can help just one person from taking this preventable trip down the road to self-destruction, then we have accomplished something really important.”
The event will be discrete, and participants can remain anonymous if they choose. Attendees can verbally ask questions during the presentation or type them into a group chat box.
The Zoom login for the free problem gambling education seminar is:
- Meeting ID: 840 5365 7492
- Passcode: 767130
Addabbo continues push for NY online casinos, online lottery
Addabbo is among the leading political voices advocating for expanding legal gambling options in NY. He was a driving force behind online NY sports betting, which catapulted the Empire State to become the largest market in the country.
The senator from Queens has been pushing for legal online casinos in NY for some time now. He introduced a bill to legalize iGaming in two consecutive sessions, both of which stalled in committee.
Addabbo confirmed with PlayNY that in addition to online casino legislation, he would also be introducing a proposal for online lottery.
Problem gambling by the numbers
Some 2 million adults in the US meet the criteria for severe gambling in any given year, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling. Another 4 to 6 million have either a “mild” or “moderate” disorder.
More than 4% of adults in NY — approximately 600,000 people — are experiencing problems related to gambling, per the New York Council on Problem Gambling.
The American Psychiatric Association classifies gambling addiction as a mental illness. A gambling disorder, health officials say, can lead to other complications, such as financial losses and accumulated debt.
Furthermore, gambling addiction or disorders can impact personal relationships and work, according to mental health experts. People who gamble compulsively often have substance abuse problems, personality disorders, depression or anxiety, according to the Mayo Clinic.
New Yorkers can contact the NCPG’s National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-522-4700 in order to receive help finding local resources. Individuals can call or text the NCPG, and all communications are confidential. There is also 24/7 chat available at the NCPG website.