There are currently about 4 million American citizens who have become hooked on sports betting over the past couple of years, with some of them having lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of football and other sports wagers placed through mobile sportsbooks.
According to reports, thousands of people in the Western part of New York have seen their lives affected by mobile sports betting services that were officially legalized in the state in 2021 and then launched for consumers in 2022. New Yorkers are now legally allowed to gamble on a total of 20 sports as a result of the state’s gambling expansion.
According to the state’s Comptroller’s Office, New York residents currently spend over $16.5 billion a year on sports. In comparison, the state Government spends about $9.6 million every year to help gambling addicts.
The state Council on Problem Gambling reported that over the first year of mobile sports betting operation, New Yorkers lost about $4 million daily on the new gambling services, with the figure rising to about $5.3 million a day in 2023. Gambling addiction experts noted that sports betting websites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars have become increasingly popular lately, making it easier than ever for sports fans to access the service that once used to be available only at certain casinos or on illegal sportsbook platforms.
Unfortunately, chasing the thrill of betting has turned into a dangerous addiction for some.
Nine Gambling Companies Hold Mobile Sports Betting Licenses in New York State
It seems that most people consider mobile sports betting simple entertainment and an enjoyable way to connect to their favorite sports. According to state authorities, a relatively small percentage of local gamblers (only about 4%) are at risk of getting addicted to betting.
However, gambling addiction experts believe that an estimated 2 million Americans become problem gamblers on an annual basis.
One of the State University at Albany’s professors, Dolores Cimini, who studies the gambling trends among local students has explained that people who place bets online have to be aware of the risks associated with this, including some mental health issues, gambling addiction, vulnerability to financial losses, etc.
Some state officials, however, such as New York Governor Kathy Hochul, shared that the legalization of sports betting has been a massive financial success for the state. According to a report issued by the state’s Gaming Commission, sports betting generated more in wagers in New York in comparison to any other state in 2022. Reportedly, those bets accounted for tax revenue of $709 million and licensing fees of $200 million. Most of the money was directed to education programs. The local gambling regulatory body further revealed that both wagers and state revenues have been even higher in 2023, and they are expected to continue to grow in the years to come.
Currently, nine gaming operators hold mobile sports betting permits in New York – DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, Caesars, BetRivers, Bally Bet, and Resorts World Bet. All of them are subject to a hefty 51% tax on their gross gaming revenues (GGRs), which is the highest tax rate in any US state. The nine companies reportedly took in mobile sports bets worth $1.76 billion in a single month – September 2023.