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Mobile sports betting booms in New York: Young people struggling with gambling addiction emerge

Nearly two years after the legalization of mobile sports wagering in New York, the state has seen an astounding $34.4 billion wagered through mobile platforms, with FanDuel leading the market.

This booming industry has generated nearly $3 billion in revenues and contributed significantly to state taxes, earmarked for programs like sports initiatives for underserved children and problem gambling education and treatment.

However, this rapid growth in mobile betting has raised concerns over the emergence of young problem gamblers.


The New York Council on Problem Gambling reports an increase in service requests, particularly from younger individuals and their parents, indicating a worrying trend in gambling addiction among the youth.

Problem gambling advocates say they’ve observed a spike in calls for help from individuals under 25, along with an upsurge in women seeking assistance. The accessibility of mobile betting platforms, which allows bets to be placed instantly via smartphones, is a key factor driving this trend.

Efforts to combat this growing issue include the state’s voluntary self-exclusion process, enabling problem gamblers to bar themselves from all gambling activities, and the use of ad blockers to reduce betting temptations. As mobile sports wagering continues to thrive, addressing the associated rise in problem gambling, particularly among the youth, remains a critical challenge.