Sen. Joe Addabbo introduced a bill on Wednesday that would authorize 1% of online New York sports betting tax revenue be used for problem gambling services.
Under the current legislation, online New York sports betting contributes $6 million annually to problem gambling. However, Bill S8439 would authorize 1% of online sports betting tax revenue, but not less than $6 million, be used for problem gambling every year.
“Let’s make sure as (online sports betting handle and revenue) grows, so do the services,” Addabbo told LSR.
How much problem gambling could receive
During the 2022-23 fiscal year (April 2022-March 2023), NY online sports betting generated $744 million in tax revenue.
Using the 1% proposed by the new bill, that would translate to $7.44 million for problem gambling.
That number could potentially be higher in 2023-24, with $647 million in tax revenue already accumulated from April 2023-December 2023.
Funding could grow help services
Addabbo said the additional money could go toward establishing a 24-7 service or a peer-to-peer service.
He was appreciative that problem gambling advocates pushed for this bill. Michelle Hadden, assistant executive director with the NY Council on Problem Gambling, previously said the funding was not adequate.
“We appreciate the Senator’s support and recognition that additional resources are needed to address the harms caused by gambling. We hear stories every day from individuals and families who are struggling to cope with the consequences of a gambling problem,” Hadden told LSR.
“Additional resources means we can bring more awareness to the issue, work to prevention problems and improve access to care. From NYCPG’s perspective, this is a positive step forward.”
New York sports betting award futures
The proposed problem gambling legislation comes at a time Addabbo is also looking to increase the market.
He is on the verge of introducing a bill that would enable New Yorkers to make prop bets on award futures such as MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year.
“It’s imminent because I want it to be part of the budget process,” Addabbo told LSR.