Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Problem Gambling Awareness Month

Since mobile sports betting became legal in New York in January, the state has seen record-setting wagers, bringing in millions in revenue but also raising addiction concerns.

March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach), who fought to bring it here and heads the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, has emphasized the importance of helping problem gamblers.

“By bringing mobile sports betting to New York we are able to allow New Yorkers to safely bet legally in their own state rather than heading to neighboring states or the illegal market,” Addabbo said in a prepared statement.

“Through legalization, we are able to identify those people — and those who may be moving towards a gambling problem — and provide them with the resources they need to control their gaming,” he continued.

The legislation allowing the mobile bets includes safeguards and addiction measures, he said. Problem gaming programs in the state will receive $6 million each year for education and treatment.

Brick-and-mortar sites are training employees to spot the warning signs of problem gaming and how to help patrons with symptoms of gaming addiction.

Procedures have been created for the mobile sports betting providers that allow customers to exclude themselves from gaming and limit wagers when customers raise a flag on their own habits.

Sportsbook operators are required to freeze accounts and send a message to customers who have $2,500 in lifetime deposits and provide them with information about problem gaming resources, and they must inform customers about assistance for compulsive play and offer easy-to-find gaming assistance resources.

Addabbo has been in contact with NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham to address the issue.

Anyone struggling with gambling can call NYS HOPELINE at 1 (877) 846-7369 or text HOPENY (467369) for help and referrals to treatment.

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