Governor Andrew Cuomo has put legalization of online gambling in sports on the state’s to-do list for 2021 to make up for lost revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some fear that 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. Nearly 20 percent of New Jersey sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers, suggesting the state is losing millions of dollars in lost tax revenue, according to the governor’s office.

What you need to know

  • Online sports betting is already legal in 14 states, including neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Governor Cuomo’s office says an industry study found that nearly 20 percent of sports betting revenue in New Jersey comes from New Yorkers
  • Gambling support groups fear that increased access to online sports betting could lead to increased gambling addiction

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

“In an age of possible legalization of sports betting, there are some concerns, only about improving access to anything that will increase a potential risk for adverse effects,” said Quintana. “Something we do worry a little about is how we know with these younger generations that they grew up in this digital age. They are very familiar with digital platforms and can use their smartphones and various apps. Things like this, so just make sure that the safeguards they have in place are sufficient to prevent the use of minors. “

The governor’s office says the New York State Gaming Commission would require safeguards against abuse and addiction if online sports betting were given 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.