In January 2022, New York introduced its regulated market for online sports betting, which turned out to be quite a success and brought in millions in revenue. Now a year later, New York’s Problem Gambling Resource Center is examining the effects of the new offering on bettors from the state, as its availability and access could be harmful to players.
The Empire State’s mobile market for sports betting started off on January 8, 2022, and at the start, four sportsbooks offered and accepted wagers. But in later months all nine operators went online. For its first year, the new sector brought in just over US$700 million in tax revenue from wagers and another US$200 million from licensing fees from operators.
Calls for Help Have Doubled
Jeffrey Wierzbicki, team leader of the Western New York Problem Gambling Resource Center knows about the possible downsides of gambling. He shared that in 2022, New Yorkers bet around US$16.3 billion and lost almost US$4 million a day. Also, the calls to the organization doubled last year, and according to him, this was an unprecedented increase in the state.
He notes that the organization has noticed that a target audience for mobile sports betting is college-age students and that the 18-35 demographic has been drastically affected. The expert explained that these audiences are attracted to the idea of low effort, high excitement reward, and it has now become a real issue for younger people in the Empire State.
Furthermore, Mr. Wierzbicki commented that gambling is triggering the same receptors in the brain that activate dopamine in the same way that drugs do. That is why he reminds that it is important for people to know that there is help available. He also noted that some people are afraid to look for professional help but assured that the organization is always welcome to aid bettors.
Patrick Harris, an online sports gambler shared some of his experience and thoughts on the topic. He said gambling was like the lottery, as players believe that they are going to win, but in reality, they must remain honest with themselves. That is why he said it is important to play with strict limits, as they can restrict time spent on the apps and more.
Already Taking Measures
New York State Gaming Commission has already taken measures against sports betting ads in the Empire State. In a recent meeting, officials of the regulator voted in favour of blocking. of any advertising of sports wagering on college campuses among other things. The new regulations are not yet in play, as they are subject to a 60-day comment period.
Prior to that, democrats Luis R. Sepúlveda and Leroy Comrie, introduced legislation which passed would require all gambling ads in the state to come with warnings. These cautions would be about the possible downsides to gambling. It would also command that all ads feature the New York problem gambling hotline number 1-877-8-HOPENY.
Source: Hallikaar, Viktoria “Examining the effect of online sports gambling on New York, one year later” Spectrum News, March 15, 2023