SYRACUSE. N.Y. (NCC News) — With the amount of apps and websites available to consumers, sports betting has now become more accessible than ever. Ads for online sports betting sites such as Fanduel, DraftKings, and Prizepicks are now common to see in between sports games, further pushing gambling into the mainstreams. The accessibility and availability of mobile sports betting has not only led to more bets being placed, but more people becoming addicted. According to a report from the New York State Gaming Commission, there was a 26% increase in problem gambling-related calls to the Office of the Addiction Services and Supports from 2021-2022.
Mobile sports gambling in the state of New York was legalized in January of 2022. Since then, it’s been easier for those under the age of 21 to place bets by using their parent’s name. Because of the lack of restrictions, many students in college who are under the gambling age make bets. A 2023 survey of over 3500 college students by the NCAA reported that 58% have engaged in at least one sport gambling activity. With the amount of college students who are gambling, they leave many of their friends concerned about the possibility of addiction. Syracuse University sophomore Zach Garby is one of those students.
“It’s kinda like drugs,” Garby said. “If you mess around with it too much you’ll get addicted eventually.”
Many mobile sports betting sites use tactics such as same-game parlay bonuses or deposit bonuses that grant bettors extra money for winning or “free” money to bet on whichever games they choose. Sophomore Justin Rappaport believes that this jargon is what keeps student bettors coming back for more.
“You put money in, and you get money in return,” Rappaport said. “It’s really trapping people who see that and they’re like ‘Oh this seems cool.'”
Despite the concerns that money students have about the practices of mobile betting sites in New York, the industry seems to be showing no signs of slowing down. State Comtroller Thomas DiNapoli reported that taxes on mobile betting sites generated more than 700 million dollars in tax revenue in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, more than doubling the projected amount.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there are resources available. The National Problem Gambling Hotline can be reached at 1-800-522-4700. Additional resources can be found at www.ncpgambling.org/state/new-york/