Survey: More than 4% of New Yorkers are ‘problem gamblers’

By Published On: December 16th, 2021Categories: Capitol Notes

The state’s first broad review of the prevalence of problem gambling in more than a decade indicates that more than 4 percent of New Yorkers are “problem gamblers.”

In 2019, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli dinged the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (now the Office of Addiction Services and Supports) for implementing policies and distributing funding to address gambling addiction based on a 2006 statewide survey of the state’s gambling problem needs. The new survey, which was quietly posted online at the end of November, is based on 3,845 surveys collected between July 24, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Some of the data highlights:

  • Men are more likely to be problem gamblers
  • New York City and the mid-Hudson region had the highest rate of problem gamblers
  • New Yorkers between 18 and 24 had the highest percentage of problem gamblers
  • A higher percentage of black New Yorkers reported gambling problems than any other race/ethnicity

While access to legal gambling has increased dramatically since 2006, with the explosion of racinos and development of upstate casinos, the percent of New Yorkers with a self-reported gambling problem hasn’t changed much.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is recommending that the state conduct a gambling prevalence study every two years to ensure the state is directing adequate resources to the right areas of the state. In 2019, the state blamed the gap in studies on a lack of funding.

Oasas Gambling Report by Capitol Pressroom on Scribd