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Long Island Advances Its Gambling Support Efforts

This week, Long Island saw the launch of the new gambling support and wellness centres, one in Hicksville and the other in Hempstead. The two centres may be arriving at the right time, as on the weekend the whole of North America will be watching and most likely placing their bets on Super Bowl LVIII. The American Gaming Association predicts that records will be broken.

Currently, New Yorkers have plenty of options when it comes to betting on the big game on February 11, 2024, between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Since January 2022, locals can place legal bets on sporting events via their phones or computers. In that time, the Empire State has transformed into one of the leading legal mobile sports betting jurisdictions.

Opening at a Key Time

It is expected that the Super Bowl will see some enormous betting volume and could even surpass previous levels, says the American Gaming Association. According to the association, nearly 68 million Americans, or approximately 1 in 4 will place bets on the final. This number would be a 35% increase in comparison to last year’s figures.

Meanwhile, FCA President and CEO said Jeffrey L. Reynolds, president and CEO of Long Island’s Family and Children’s Association, notes sports betting popularity is the latest public health challenge for young people. He explained the centres’ objective is to help those in the Tri-State Area educate them on what problem gambling looks like and help them recover.

Mr. Reynolds shared that the organization is looking at signs and symptoms of problem gambling on how frequently one is gambling, how often one gambles and the amount of money that is wagered. He explained that generally the amount of funds that one is betting increases with time, while also noting that the issue could also affect one’s family as it can cause financial trouble, depression, and anxiety.

Nicolle Vasselman, assistant vice president of clinical services for the FCA remarked that the non-profit has available resources during crucial times like the Super Bowl. She elaborated the organization does not tell gamblers what to do, but instead, they work collaboratively within their counselling environment to establish goals related to problem gambling and other areas in life.

The Darkside of Sports Betting’s Popularity

However, the increase of popularity of sports betting in the Empire State has come with a cost. It was reported that while the online sports wagering market was booming, there has been an increase in gambling addiction among young people. There was a bump in calls for help from individuals under the age of 25, while there has also been a surge in women seeking help regarding gambling habits.

But that is not all, as the Office of Addiction Services and Supports revealed there has been a rise in New Yorkers who have opted to join voluntary self-exclusion programs since the market’s launch. The organization reported there was a 33% increase in voluntary exclusion requests. It also noted a 23% spike in calls to the state’s HOPEline.

Source: Maldonado, Zinnia “2 new gambling support and wellness centers open on Long IslandCBS News, February 6, 2024