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New Yorkers dialed 91 times more of the state’s problem gambling hotline numbers in January compared to the same month last year. The 46% surge in calls came in the first month of legal online sports betting in New York, which saw a one-month US record of $1.6 billion in sports bets placed on phones mobiles.

“With the onset of mobile sports betting and the proliferation of advertisements and gambling giveaways, we expect the number of individuals and families in need of assistance to continue to grow,” said Jim Maney, Executive Director of New York Council on Problem Gambling. PlayNY.

New Yorkers made 198 problem gambling-related calls to NY HOPEline in January 2021, up from 289 last month, according to data shared with PlayNY by a state government spokesperson. The state generated $57.6 million in online sports betting taxes last month and $113 million in sports betting revenue. FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM, PointsBet, WynnBET and Bet Rivers are the seven sportsbooks that currently operate mobile apps in New York.

New York sports channel MSG Networks this week spear “Bet-A-Palooza presented by DraftKings”, a list of new betting programs that includes a betting-themed game broadcast on the MSG+ and MSG GO streaming platform. This simulcast debuted with last night’s New York Knicks game against the Golden State Warriors and will also return for Saturday’s Knicks game.

“We need to address this problem in real time and not 1 or 2 years later. Time is running out because now that mobile sports betting has started there is serious talk of adding 3 casino licenses downstate and right after that will come iGaming, eSports, racetrack betting kiosks and arenas like Madison Square Garden,” Maney wrote in a letter, in which he asked New York State to donate $15 million for problem gambling support.

The American Gaming Association estimates that 31 million Americans will bet a total of $7.6 billion on Super Bowl LVI. While Sunday’s Bengals-Rams game will feature a blitz of ads from legal sports betting apps, problematic gaming services are concerned about the marketing of betting-style free games aimed at children. For example, the NFL and Nickelodeon’s slime-draped website collaboration asks the children to pick the winner of Sunday’s big game. The site gives points for correct picks alongside cartoon visuals and NFL trivia.

“There is a massive exposure effect. There is a habituation and grooming effect,” Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said to Axios.

Elizabeth J. Harless