The big winner these days in sports wagering is the State of New York. In the gambling report released by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on Wednesday, it revealed that the Empire State is far exceeding expected tax revenues from sports wagering. Sounds great? Well, there is a good side and a bad side to every story.

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In an article by Yancy Roy on newsday.com, Roy pointed out that gambling-related calls to the state’s addiction hot line went up 26% last year. In addition, in-person sports betting at upstate casinos is way down. Meaning, people are using the easiest way to wager, their phones!

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Roy's article said that the state collected nearly $4.8 billion in gambling tax revenues for fiscal year 2022-23, which ended March 31 Included in that is $2.7 billion collected from the lottery. Amazingly, $1 billion more comes from video slot machines in casinos throughout the state, like the Saratoga Casino Hotel. In addition, $727 million was collected from mobile sports betting, more than double the $361 million the state collected in 2021-22.

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Part of the growth can be attributed to New York’s tax rate on mobile sports betting gross revenue, which is 51%. That tax rate is tied with Rhode Island and New Hampshire for highest in the U.S.. But taxing gambling isn't a deterrent for problems arising.

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The state is well aware that some New Yorkers struggle severely with gambling addiction. DiNapoli told newsday.com, “With the ease and 24/7 availability of mobile betting apps, problem gambling and addiction are poised to increase. More attention should be devoted to understanding the implications of mobile sports betting, particularly on young New Yorkers.” Either way, just like the "house" at a casino, the state will always win.

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