New Yorkers dialed the state’s problem gambling hotline 91 times more in January compared to the same month last year. The 46% uptick in calls came during the first month of legal online sports betting in NY, which had a single-month US record of $1.6 billion in sports bets placed on mobile phones.
“With the start of Mobile Sports Betting and the proliferation of gambling ads and giveaways, we anticipate the numbers of individuals and families needing help will continue to increase,” New York Council on Problem Gambling executive director Jim Maney told PlayNY.
New Yorkers made 198 problem gambling calls to the NY HOPEline in Jan. 2021 compared to 289 last month, according to data shared to PlayNY from a state government spokesperson. The state generated $57.6 million in taxes from online sports betting last month and $113 million in revenue for the sportsbooks. FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, WynnBET and Bet Rivers are the seven sportsbooks currently operating mobile apps in NY
New York sports channel MSG Networks this week launched “Bet-A-Palooza presented by DraftKings,” a slate of new betting programming that includes a betting-themed broadcast game airing on the MSG+ and MSG GO streaming platform. That simulcast debuted with last night’s New York Knicks game against the Golden State Warriors and will return for Saturday’s Knicks game, as well.
“We must address this issue in real time and not 1 year or 2 years down the road. The clock is ticking because now that Mobile Sports Betting has started, there are serious discussions regarding the addition of 3 downstate casino licenses and right after that will come iGaming, eSports, betting kiosks at racetracks and arenas like Madison Square Garden,” Maney wrote in a letter, in which he asked New York State to give $15 million toward problem gambling support.
The American Gaming Association estimates that 31 million Americans will wager a total of $7.6 billion on Super Bowl LVI. While Sunday’s Bengals-Rams matchup will feature an all-out blitz of ads from legal sports betting apps, problem gambling departments are concerned about betting-like free games being marketed towards kids. For example, the NFL and Nickelodeon’s slime-draped website collaboration is asking kids to pick the winner of Sunday’s big game. The site gives points for correct picks alongside cartoon visuals and NFL trivia.
There’s a massive exposure effect. There’s a habituation and grooming effect,” Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, told Axios.