State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. participated in a panel at the SBC | Summit North America at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J.
Addabbo, chair of the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, and a key mover and shaker in sports betting in New York, was part of the panel last Wednesday for a session labeled as “Leadership and Player Protection: A Shift Towards Solutions.”
Addabbo, aside from the panel, was asked about the downstate casino process, which was approved in the state’s fiscal budget.
He told EmpireStakes.com that a site selection committee is expected to be established by early October, but it is possible the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) could announce the group earlier, possibly in late August or September.
Stay close to EmpireStakes.com for any developments on that, as well as for the best New York sports promo codes.
ADDABBO ON STRONGLY ADDRESSING PROBLEM GAMBLING
Addabbo highlighted New York’s problem gambling services - the 1-877-8-HOPENY hotline, as well as the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), which provides people with prevention tips, problem gambling warning signs, responsible gambling techniques and additional resources.
“We knew when we introduced mobile sports betting in New York that it would cause an increase in problem gambling issues, but we were prepared for that eventuality,” Addabbo told the conference. “We improved the OASAS services, enhanced outreach and the free, confidential NYS HOPELINE, while building safeguards directly into the sports betting apps.
“By safely legalizing mobile sports betting in New York and thus not having our residents go to other states, we are now able to identify and help those with problem gambling issues and get them the services they require.”
New York just recently (July 8) hit the six-month anniversary of its remarkable start to mobile sports wagering.
Addabbo noted that mobile sports betting already has brought in more than $300 million in tax revenue and educational funds to the Empire State, more than any other state with mobile sports betting. It also has meant $6 million for new addiction programs.
“We need to work on removing the stigma around gambling addiction, and the way we do that is by increasing educational materials and marketing,” Addabbo said during the 45-minute panel discussion. “If we can get rid of the fear of coming forward with a gambling problem, we can get people the help that they need to overcome their addiction. It is my hope that by funding these free vital programs we are able to reach more people and have a greater impact on the state.”
AN A-B-C PLAN OF ATTACK
During the panel, Addabbo discussed his “A-B-C’s” approach to problem gambling. When put into practice, he said, it will help those with gambling addiction issues.
- “A” stands for Awareness: By making people aware, through improved marketing, of the signs of gambling problems, the pitfalls of the addiction, and the services available to those affected by gambling issues, the state can help with addiction recovery and hopefully prevent someone from falling victim to gambling addiction.
- “B” stands for Budget: The new state budget has earmarked funds for gambling addiction programs, which will increase New York’s ability for outreach and assistance. Additional budgetary funding could increase the staffing levels for OASAS to expand a 24/7 peer-to-peer program. A select portion of money from tax revenue gained from mobile sports betting will be used to fund these programs.
- “C” is for Codify: Legislators need to codify into law legislative language that creates safeguards and measures to provide protections from problem gambling and addiction.
“With New York State looking to expand gaming with the process to select downstate casinos to receive full licenses about to start, and the potential of legalizing i-Gaming, these problem gambling initiatives are more important than ever,” Addabbo said. “By working together with legislators and problem gambling advocates, we can create a comprehensive set of laws and programs that will keep New York bettors safe and provide those who have an addiction the services they need and educational awareness to prevent gambling addiction.”