Plan to Address Needs of Problem Gambling

NEW YORK – In 2022 an additional $6 million will be dedicated to problem gambling services. Below is the recommended allocation of these additional funds based on the current statewide needs. It is of note that this additional $6 million is still inadequate to execute a comprehensive, statewide, public health plan to address problem gambling and to build the appropriate infrastructure to do so.

Current statewide problem gambling service needs include:

* $500,000 for problem gambling treatment.

* $500,000 for a stand-alone, 24/7, problem gambling helpline that can more quickly and adequately address the needs of online players.

* $500,000 for improved VSE services statewide that can assist in remote exclusion and serve online players.

* $2 million to provide professional education and assist community level workers in preventing problem gambling.

* $2.5 million for annual public awareness campaigns and program marketing.

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 3-4% of US adults experience a gambling problem. Simple application of this percentage to New York State indicates as many as 600,000 adult NYers may be struggling. We are not doing enough to prevent or treat this disorder and more is needed to adequately address this issue in NYS. We must move to a system of care that provides comprehensive and premier services for those struggling and their families.

The incoming expansion of gambling opportunities brings with it some additional funds for services, but they are not nearly enough. With limited funds, we must ensure that the current services and infrastructure are effective and being utilized, before we move to build more infrastructure. Therefore, the New York Council on Problem Gambling recommends the above outlined immediate needs be addressed with the $6 million dedicated to problem gambling from the implementation of mobile sports betting.

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