BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Mobile sports betting is off to a hot start in New York State — in the first 30 days, the state counted nearly $2 billion in wagers.
There were more than $600 million in wagers on football, over $540 million on basketball and nearly $80 million on hockey. The state earned more than $70 million in tax revenue. The figures from the Super Bowl will be available on Friday.
Now that it’s easier to place a bet on your favorite team, it’s also easier to fall into the trap of gambling addiction. The state is urging everyone to gamble responsibly and they offer resources and tips online.
“The idea is we have to keep evolving, we have to keep improving mobile sports betting, maybe by incorporating horse racing into mobile sports betting, or NASCAR,” said Angela Dirosa, the program manager at Western Problem Gambling. “These are things we’re going to talk about during the budget period over the next six weeks.”
A few of the warning signs of gambling addiction include: gambling as a means of escape, neglecting responsibilities and using money needed for bills and necessities.
“The most significant things a person might notice are personality changes, increased anxiety or depression, especially when watching games,” Dirosa said. “When you have a bet and there’s something going on in a game and you’re not sure how it’s going to unfold — if you lose, there may be a noticeable change in a person’s behavior.”
Dirosa also says that folks with a family history of addiction should be especially careful with mobile sports betting.
If you or a loved one needs help with a gambling addiction call the Western Problem Gambling resource center confidential helpline at 716-833-4274.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.