New York has become one of the hottest properties in the US when it comes to sports betting. Since its legalization earlier this year, it has gone on to break a number of records including bets handled in a single month and total tax revenue raised.
However, that doesn’t mean that the state isn’t looking at ways to continuously improve the situation in New York. For example, recent developments have seen Senator Joseph P. Addabbo co-sponsoring a new bill that would look to form a Problem Gambling Advisory Council in the Empire State. The bill proposes the body be made up of 13 members including the commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the chair of the Gaming Commission.
This proactive stance from Addabbo is significant as he was one of the main supporters of legalizing gambling in NY, having introduced iGaming bills and pushing for the legalization of sports betting. Nonetheless, as big as his support has been, and as profitable as legalization has been, Addabbo is keen to enforce safeguarding measures for those who could fall victim to problem gambling.
Why Is Addabbo Pushing The Gambling Harms Body Bill?
Following the announcement of his support for the Gambling Harms Body bill, Addabbo stated:
“As co-sponsor of this bill and chair to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, I am pleased that we are fulfilling a promise to provide additional resources and raise public awareness for problem gambling in our state”Senator Joseph P. Addabbo
Addabbo prioritizes responsible gambling and has enlisted the support of sportsbook operators in New York to help fund agencies to combat the serious issue of problem gambling. He explains the record tax revenues received will allow for the formation of this new body:
The legalization of mobile sports betting brought higher than forecasted educational funds and revenue to our state, and the recent approval of downstate casino licenses will create jobs and additional resources, but this legislation demonstrates that we have not forgotten that we must prioritize problem gambling and address it in a timely, proactive manner.
These comments and the subsequent move to create a new body also come in the wake of fresh calls for new restrictions on advertisements for gambling services, with calls to stop making it so easy for sportsbook operators to just push their services on unsuspecting people (including those with a history of gambling problems).
What Good Could The Gambling Harms Body Bill Do?
It’s clear that the state has not forgotten the responsibilities that come with legalizing sports betting and other forms of gambling, as they ensure that services will be available for those who fall victim to problem gambling. By setting up new regulatory bodies, they are able to learn and adapt the way the industry operates to help educate people about responsible gambling.
Preventative measures are certainly necessary with increasing signs of problem gambling growing among younger bettors. Indeed, the task may be tougher than first thought. Findings from a recent OASAS study found that 10% of 7th to 12th graders demonstrate behaviors that exhibit signs of problem gambling. This was double the percent of adults in the state, suggesting a wave of new problem gamblers could be headed this way.
These proposed changes will also offer up support networks for those who have already fallen victim to problem gambling, such as support lines to call for advice that will enable problem gamblers to have someone to talk to when they need it. It is through these processes and procedures that the state will be hoping they can minimize the number of people who fall into the trap of problem gambling by preventing them from being able to in the first place.