Concerns Over Possible Legalization of Online Sports Betting

Governor Andrew Cuomo added legalizing online sport gambling to the state’s 2021 to-do list, as a way to make up revenue lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. But some are concerned online sports betting could encourage young people to become addicted to gambling.

Sports betting is already legal in 14 states, including neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. According to the governor’s office, nearly 20 percent of New Jersey’s sports wagering revenue comes from New Yorkers, indicating the state is losing out on millions of dollars in lost tax revenue.


What You Need To Know

  • Online sports betting is already legal in 14 states, including neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Gov. Cuomo’s office says an industry study showed that nearly 20 percent of New Jersey’s sports wagering revenue comes from New Yorkers
  • Gambling support groups worry the increase in access to online sports betting could lead to an increase in gambling addictions

Amanda Quintana, a program manager at the Mid-Hudson Region Problem Gambling Resource Center, says allowing online sports betting in the state could lead to more gambling addictions.

“In these times of possible legalization for sports betting, there are some concerns, just in regards to the increase in access with anything, will increase a possible risk for having adverse impacts,” Quintana said. “Something that we are a little concerned about is, as we know with these young generations, they’re kind of being brought up in this digital age; they are very familiar with digital platforms, being able to use their smartphone, different apps, things like that, so just making sure that the safeguards that they have in place will be adequate to prevent underage usage.”

The governor’s office says the New York State Gaming Commission would require safeguards against abuses and addiction if online sports betting gets the green light.

If you are struggling with a gambling addiction, you can call or text the Mid-Hudson Region Problem Gambling Resource Center at 914-215-6440.

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